Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rolly Polly Lab 8/11/10

This lab assignment consisted of collecting rolly pollys or pillbugs from each students yard.  We then experimented on the creatures by testing different hypothesis's about their habitats and environments.
My group was with Ariel and Dara.  We wanted to test the moisture of the rolly polly's habitat and what drew them to the enviroments we discovered them in.  Our hypothesis was that since the bugs were found underneath rocks and logs that they would prefer a moist habitat rather than a dry one.
To test this hypothesis we used habitat trays with two sections to compare to each other.  We used two pieces of paper, one dry and one wet with tap water.  We then placed 14 rolly pollys in the tray and waited approximately 10 minutes before beginning the test in order to let the bugs adapt to the new environment somewhat.  This would allow them to try out both habitats and then make a decision.  Our group then started recording data every minute, writing down how many bugs were in each habitat. 
The first minute of data we recorded showed that all of the bugs prefered the dry habitat.  However, the next couple minutes showed a split decision with about 9 or 8 bugs on the dry side and 5 or 6 on the wet.  This data confused our group, but as we watched longer, we recorded data that stated that the bugs prefered the dry side the rest of the time. 
During this experiment, we noticed that the rolly pollys grouped together with each other, almost as if they were huddling together to stay warm and sleeping.  Because of this analization, our group believes that it is not the moisture of the environment that the bugs prefer, but rather the temperature or darkness.  However, we ran out of time so we could not test either of these new hypotheses.

1 comment:

  1. Very good description of the experiment and your results. I would have also expected the pillbugs to like the moist environment. They have gill like structures that they use to breathe and these gills need to be kept moist. I liked that you tried to explain your results and mentioned you would do other experiments if you had time. Sometimes you need to go back and do more research and then test again.