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An investigation into how animals survive winter months.

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Introduction

An investigation into how animals survive winter months Microsoft(r) Encarta(r) Reference Library 2002. (c) 1993-2001 Microsoft Corporation. http: www.dk.com Past module on Energy Introduction This assessment is all about investigating how animals manage to survive the cold winter months. Using some research I have undertaken, I have found out that warm-blooded animals use several ways of surviving the winter. These include the following: * Migration Many birds migrate to warmer regions * Insulation Many animals are insulated against the cold by means of fur, blubber or feathers * Huddling Some animals keep each other warm by huddling together * Hibernating Some animals reduce their use of energy by hibernating. From the factors that I have pointed out above, I have found out that it is possible for an animal to survive the cold winter months but which method works best? That is what this investigation is set up to discover, which method of keeping warm is the best for warm-blooded animals. We will do this by using test tubes and hot water instead of real animals, as real animals are hard to find and test on. I have also found out quite a lot about the different ways that heat can escape, as this will help my investigation if I know some background knowledge. ...read more.

Middle

Apparatus List The apparatus I will use for my testing will be: * Stop Watch * Five test tubes * Five different sized beakers (increasing by 2cm thickness each time) * Thermometer * Hot water * Shredded paper * Measuring cylinder Diagram Method 1. Set up the apparatus as shown above. 2. Wrap a thickness of 2cm of shredded paper before the water has been poured into the test tube (we will do this so we have a variety of different thicknesses) around the test tube and place the thermometer into the tube. 3. Test the temperature of the water, record and start the stopwatch. 4. When 1 minute is over, test the temperature for a second time and record. 5. Repeat for another 9 minutes until 11 temperatures have been recorded. 6. Then, repeat steps 2-7 for the thicknesses of 4cm, 6cm, 8cm and 10cm, recording all of the results. 7. If you need a more accurate result, repeat each of the different thicknesses another two times and then find out the average. Fair Test To keep this a fair test l will ensure that the following stay constant: * The amount of water in the test tube. * The temperature of the water at the beginning. * The time the experiment is being timed for. ...read more.

Conclusion

* When 1 minute was over, it took time to take the measurement so we might have lost some of the accuracy. I would have preferred to have had several other people so that they could make the experiment quicker or even used a computer to record the measurements from a digital thermometer every 1-minute. This would have been the most accurate way of getting the results. * The thickness of the insulation wasn't very accurate due to the measuring tools we were allowed. I would have maybe used the mass of the insulation instead of the thickness to see if that improved the results or made them any more accurate. * The amount of water wasn't measured very accurately due to the measuring tools. I would have used a measuring cylinder with a smaller scale so that l could have read off the measurement easier and more accurately. * When measuring out the water, it lost some of the heat and when we held the test tube with our hands, it would have warmed the water up a little bit so the start temperature wasn't 100% accurate. I would have heated the water up using a Bunsen burner or alike and then, because it was already measured, l would have easily been able to start timing immediately. It would have also ensured that the start temperature would have been the same the whole way through the experiment. ...read more.

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