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Penguins and Heat Loss Investigation

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Plan Background knowledge Penguins, like all other animals, have special adaptions to help them survive in their climate. For example their 'wings' are used to help them swim and their webbed feet are used for swimming too. Also, their colouring helps them and they become less visible in the water. However, this assignment is not about their colouring or how they are able to swim, instead we look at how the penguins are distributed throughout the Southern hemisphere. The larger Emperor penguins are found nearest the South Pole while the smallest species, the jackass penguins are found nearer the warm equator. Penguins like all other birds and mammals are homeothermic, which means they are able to maintain a constant body temperature therefore when penguins lose heat they must replace it. This means a certain amount of heat is produced to replace the heat that was lost. Heat is produced in the body by chemical reactions. These chemical reactions take placed in living cells. So, the more cells the animals has the larger the amount of heat it can produce. Therefore the amount of heat energy depends on the size of the animal and in this case it depends on the size of the penguin. The heat that is lost to the environment is lost over the entire surface of the body. ...read more.


This is because when the size of an object (beaker) increases the surface area/volume ratio decreases. This means that heat will be lost much slower. This should therefore prove why the larger penguins are situated on the coldest place on earth and why the smaller penguins are nearer the warm equator. Variables Dependent Variables We will measure: * The amount of water in each beaker * The temperature at the start of the experiment and again at the end of the 30 minutes. Independent Variables We will change: * The volume of the beakers Controlled Variables We will keep the same: * The time that the beakers have to cool * The type of beakers, all glass * The shape of the beaker * The temperature of the room Strategy for Results Safety * Be careful when holding beaker as it will be hot * Tuck in stools * Don't rush around lab. Obtaining Evidence Apparatus * 2 X 2000ml beaker * 2 X 1000ml beaker * 2 X 400ml beaker * 2 X 250ml beaker * 2 X 100ml beaker * Stopclock * 10 X thermometers Method ==> Collect apparatus ==> Rinse two beakers of the same size in warm water ==> Fill the two beakers to capacity ==> Stir the water in each beaker, take the temperatures and record ==> Leave the beakers for 30 minutes (leave thermometers in beakers) ...read more.


This means that they have a small area to lose the heat over, but as their volume is small they will not be able to make as much heat energy by respiration as they have less cells. This then helps them to maintain a constant body temperature. They live in the warmth because they don't need to make heat that quickly. In comparison to that, the larger penguins are found in the coldest part of the world because their surface area/volume ratio is small. Although these penguins have a bigger surface to lose heat over, their volume is much more than the smaller penguins, and they therefore have more cells and these cells make a lot more heat energy. This enables them to maintain a constant body temperature through the most extreme cold. Was your original prediction correct? From what I have found, it is clear that my original prediction was correct. The smallest beaker lost heat the quickest, and this beaker represents the smaller penguins. The largest beaker lost heat the slowest and this represents the larger penguins. Reliability of Evidence As the results I obtained all followed the curve on my graph, I think it is safe to say my findings were very accurate. However to improve accuracy, I could have used several more of each kind of beaker to give a better average temperature loss. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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