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The effect of different temperatures on the movement of maggots.

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The effect of different temperatures on the movement of maggots. Introduction This investigation will be designed to investigate the statement: 'On cold winter mornings I have observed fishermen placing maggots in their mouths before using them as bait.' Life cycle The common housefly lays its eggs in rotting, moist material such as manure. The maggots emerge from the eggs in warm weather within 8 to 20 hours, and they immediately feed on, and grow in, the material where the eggs were laid. These larvae are 3 to 9 mm long, and creamy white in colour. When the maggots are fully-grown after about five to six days, they crawl away to a dry, cool place near breeding material, and transform to the pupal stage. The new adult emerges in another four to five days if the weather is warm. Six or more generations of fly eggs may hatch in a single summer, resulting in a large number of flies with the average being 12 generations of housefly per year. Maggots are useful in several ways. As decomposers, like bacteria and fungi, they help to break down rotting biomass and return nutrients to the soil. The rotting flesh of dead animals, after other scavengers are done, is quickly reduced to bone by the action of maggots. Maggots are also used occasionally in the field of medicine. They are used to eat dead tissue, helping to clean open wounds. During the Civil War in the United States, and World War I, battlefield physicians saw that soldiers' wounds that were infested with maggots tended to heal better than non-infested wounds. Soon 'maggot therapy' was being used to clean festering and foul-smelling wounds. Maggots not only eat the rotten flesh, they also get rid of harmful bacteria in the wound. ...read more.


These are the same reasons that the maggots are placed in the tube front first. -The maggots in the beaker are placed into the water so that they are acclimatised to the temperature and their body temperatures equal that of the water. -The ends are stoppered with blue tack so that the maggots don't drown, although the conditions in a fisherman's mouth are wet they are not there for an extended period nor are they completely submerged. -The maggots are picked at random so that a particularly large or wriggly one isn't chosen every time and the test is fair and reliable. -The experiment will be repeated three times at each temperature so that averages can be taken so that the results are more reliable and any anomalous points can be identified. Statistics I shall use the Spearman Rank correlation coefficient to analyse the data so that I can see if there is an association between the temperature and the time taken for the maggots to travel 15cm. I have chosen this statistical test as it is the most appropriate for the results I will gather also I will have samples containing more than seven pairs of measurements, which is necessary for the test. Null hypothesis: There is no relationship between the time taken for a maggot to travel 15cm and the temperature. Temp (�c) 1st Time (s) 2nd Time (s) 3rd Time (s) Average 0 193 211 174 193 10 70 48 75 64 20 49 27 55 44 30 20 17 23 20 37 16 20 19 18.33 40 20 19 17 18.67 50 50 75 62 62 60 / / / / Results 60�c proved to be too high for the maggots, as they don't move in a line they just wriggled erratically, so no results were recorded. ...read more.


However this suggests that a maggot has the ability to be 'inclined' which with its simple kinesis behaviour is unlikely, also the maggots did not stop to wriggle around once they were replaced into the beaker suggesting that they weren't tired so this problem was quite insignificant really. Placing the maggot in a separate beaker once it had been used so that there was no chance of it being picked twice could have prevented this problem. A third problem was with the maggots themselves, their physical abilities could have varied greatly through genetically inherited abilities or advantages such as having had more food than another and so growing more and stronger. This would have meant that some maggots were naturally faster than others regardless of the temperature they were in affecting the results and making it an unfair test. The problems caused by this were greatly reduced, as the temperatures were each repeated three times with different maggots producing an average and reducing the margin of error likely with only one maggot for each. This problem would be the most difficult to prevent as the maggots would all have to be clones of each other so that they had the same genetic ability, also their food intake would have had to be controlled so that they had each had the same amount and would have the same amount of growth and strength. There were no apparent anomalous points in this experiment, which suggests that it was quite reliable. There are however limitations such as the size of temperature range that can be used without another area of the maggots biology being affected such as it being frozen or its enzymes being denatured. Also the type of animal used to investigate the effect of temperature is limited to pokiotherms with reflex behaviour. ...read more.

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