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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Science
  • Essay length: 1892 words

Why do penguins huddle to keep warm?

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Why do penguins huddle to keep warm? Before experiment Aim I aim to investigate whether penguins huddling together in a group are able to keep warmer than a solitary penguin using test tube as model penguins. Prediction I predict that the penguins that are in a huddle shall stay warmer for longer than the penguin that is alone. This is because the penguins in the huddle shall absorb some of the heat energy lost by the surrounding penguins and so will keep warmer for longer than the penguin which is alone who will gain no heat energy from surrounding penguins as it is by itself. I also believe that the penguins closest to the centre of the huddle shall keep warmer for longer than some the penguins further away from the centre of the huddle as they have more penguins surrounding them and will re-absorb more heat. Preliminary tests (Trial) Plan To find out how long I need to leave the experiment to get some decent enough results back to answer the question, I need to make a small rough test to decipher how long it takes the test tubes full of hot water to cool down. As a test, I shall start with the water temperature at 70degrees. I am going to use just two layers of test tubes as it will be easier to use as a simple test and shall hopefully be enough to remotely see if the centre tube will stay warmer than the outer ones and how long shall leave it for.

Middle

Safety The person submerging the test tubes shall wear gloves, goggles and use grips to lower it into the water to protect their hands and eyes from spillages and burns. As the experiment is a small scale harmless experiment with no harmful chemicals. There is no need for any extra precautions. Apparatus 38 test tubes, Rubber bands to secure test tubes, A bucket, Hot water, 3 kettles to heat up the water, Goggles, A pair of gloves, And 4 Thermometers. After experiment Method * I arranged 37 test tubes in 4 layers like shown below. This is the best formation to have the test tubes when trying to get them all as close to each other and touching. * I also got another single test tube which would be the solitary tube. This is necessary to see whether the huddle is in fact warmer than a solitary penguin. * I then filled the test tubes with 70degrees water like stated in the plan. * I then inserted a thermometer into each of the five test tubes, the 4 in the huddle and 1 alone and then started the timer. * Every 2.5 minutes, I recorded the temperature of each test tube. The results shall be stored in the graph below; Temperature in degrees Test tube number start 2.5 5 7.5 10 12.5 15 17.5 20 22.5 25 27.5 30 1 2 3 4 5 Results The results are recorded in the table shown below.

Conclusion

Evaluation To make sure my results were accurate, I made sure that all the penguins were of equal starting temperature before I started the experiment. I also measured the temperature of the model penguins at he same time when I did which was every 2.5 minute intervals. By looking at the results I can see that there were very accurate as both the original and control experiment show very similar results with no anomaly's and the averages table would integrate the results and so show a more accurate picture of the actual results firstly obtained. In the experiment I used thermometers to measure the temperature every 2.5mins and got 4 people to measure the temperature at the same time to give a more accurate, to the second, results. My results show a clear result and path in the graph and most of the results fit the pattern and there were no anomaly's. If I were to do the experiment again I would change the method of obtaining results from using thermometers, to using an electronic data recorder with thermo-sensors. In answer to the original question, (Why do penguins huddle to keep warm?) The answer is, it's warmer for all the penguins involved to huddle together and share body heat. Even though the penguins on the outer layer of the huddle are not as warm as those in the centre of the huddle, they are still warmer than any penguin by itself. Huddling penguins keep warmer and conserve heat energy than solitary penguins.

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