• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

Investigating Heat Loss in Model Animals

Extracts from this document...


Biology Coursework : Investigating Heat Loss in Model Animals PLANNING Intentions This experiment is being conducted to investigate the relationship between insulation (e.g. an animal's fat and fur), and (body) temperature using water, test tubes and foam insulation. Variables There are various variables that need to be taken into account during the experiment: Water volume; External factors, e.g. room temperature, wind strength. Type of insulation; Number of layers of insulation; Different test tube sizes, e.g. Width; Height; Glass thickness; (all affect surface area or insulation). Scientific Background We know that in the natural world, body temperature is a very important factor in the ability to survive. This is demonstrated throughout the world in a variety of different climates. For example, to survive the severe cold, animals in the Arctic generally have more body fat and thicker, longer fur than those of a hotter climate such as Africa. This is a demonstration of Bergman's Rule, which states that animals tend to be larger in colder regions for reasons of thermoregulation. The larger an animal is, the greater its volume, thus the lower its surface area to volume ratio and hence the lower its heat loss. The two factors that most affect an animal's body heat retention or loss are its volume to surface area ratio as mentioned above(the ratio of the volume of the animal compared to its surface area), and the amount of insulation it carries around with it. This insulation is in the form of fat, feathers or fur (e.g. hairs in humans). The extra bulk greatly reduces heat loss and can make the difference between survival and extinction. ...read more.


The independent variable will be the amount of insulation. This will be 1.0mm thick insulation which will cover the whole test tube and wrapped around in layers; it will increase in increments of two layers. The dependent variable is the temperature of the water as it cools which will be measured accurately with a thermometer every five minutes. The control in the experiment will be test tube A which has no insulation (though it still has a cotton wool bung). Prediction I predict that the more insulated the test tubes are, the longer it will take for the water inside them to reach room temperature, e.g. the rate of heat loss to slow down as more insulation is added. This will show that more insulation results in less heat loss. OBTAINING RESULTS Table of Results: 1st Experiment TIME TEMPERATURE (�C) (minutes) A B C D E 0 55 54 54 55 54 5 47 47 49 50 49 10 36 40 43 47 45 15 30 38 40 43 42 20 27 34 38 39 40 25 25 31 34 37 38 30 24 29 32 34 35 35 23 27 30 31 32 40 22 25 28 29 30 45 21 23 27 28 29 50 20.5 22 25 27 28 55 20 21.5 24.5 25 27 60 20 21.5 24 25 26.5 65 20 21 23.5 24 26 70 19.5 21 23 23 25.5 75 19 20 22 23 24.5 80 19 20 21.5 22 24 85 19 19.5 21 21 23.5 90 19 19.5 20 21 23 95 19 19 20 21 22 100 19 19 19.5 20.5 22 105 19 19 19.5 20.5 21 110 19 19 19 20 21 115 19 19 ...read more.


There were other factors that may have affected the accuracy of the experiment. These problems include the time it took to fill the test tubes, during which the water cooled rapidly. Also, the time it took to check the temperature of each test tube made the times slightly inexact. Some heat was also lost when the temperatures were checked because of insertion and removal of the thermometer (though the bungs remained in place). These problems could be overcome by finding a way to fill all the test tubes at the same time, and by having a separate thermometer for each test tube through a rubber bung, preventing heat loss. There are several ways in which this investigation could be furthered. One way is by extending the parameters of this experiment, for example by beginning with the water at a higher temperature, or by taking readings more often, such as every two minutes instead of every five minutes. To further investigate the theory that insulation thickness is not directly proportional to the rate of heat loss, test tubes with even more layers of insulation could be added to the experiment. Another way to continue this investigation would be to involve surface area and volume in an experiment thus relating to how heat loss changes in animals of different sizes. This could be done by looking at heat loss from a larger volume of water in a similar shaped container, for instance a boiling tube instead of a test tube, using the same layers of insulation. My experiment provided accurate and reliable results to support my conclusion, giving a clearer picture of how animals use insulation to survive the climatic variations of the natural world, whether desert or ice cap. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Green Plants as Organisms section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Green Plants as Organisms essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Investigate the effect of huddling on heat loss.

    5 star(s)

    7-huddle was 1.625�C, and the difference between the inner and outer test tube of the 10-huddle was 1.375�C). This clearly supports the hypothesis that the inner test tube loses less heat than an outer test tube because of the lack of surface area exposed to the external environment.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    To measure heat loss in two test tubes which represent bodies, one which sweats ...

    3 star(s)

    The wet boiling tube cooled 9OC more than the dry boiling tube. Plan Experiment 4. 1. The plan for experiment was exactly the same as experiment 3 except I used cotton wool to plug up the boiling tube instead of using a stopper.

  1. An Investigation into Water Loss from Plants.

    Therefore the null hypothesis is rejected and the original hypothesis accepted. The results are over 99% likely to be down to scientific laws rather than chance. Evaluation The method used in this experiment was a basic and simple one. There are several of the experimental procedures that could be considered unsuitable and may be improved.

  2. Investigating factors which affect heat loss from a beaker of hot water.

    1st Experiment: Cotton Wool and Cork Once the experiment started you could already see after 1 minute that the insulation was helping to prevent heat loss. This is because after a minute it was 77.5?C and the control after a minute was 76?C so there was a 1.5?C difference in temperature.

  1. Insulation properties, scientific theory heat can be transferred in three ways, either through conduction, ...

    Apparatus * Beaker * 20ml boiling water * Kettle * Thermometer * Tub & lid * Materials to test on * Beaker of cold water * Stopwatch Diagram Method * Put water to warm in the kettle * Fill the container with the material to be tested on * Once

  2. cooling curves

    cool down quicker than if we were to use two or three cups, as this provides good insulation.

  1. Comparing Heat Loss Between A Single Test Tube and Test Tubes in a Huddle.

    the following: * The size of each test tube had to be the same. * The temperature of the single test tube and the test tubes in a huddle had to be the same before the experiment began. * The amount of water added to each test tube had to be the same.

  2. My investigation is to find out the rate of which heat transfer happens. Heat ...

    These factors will help to reduce heat loss. If a lid is used: If a lid is used then it will obtain more heat as it will not be able to escape the container. The heat will rise in a gas form then it will condense on the colder surface of the lid.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work