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Predator Prey Simulation Lab Report

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Date: 22nd August, 2007 Lab #1: Predator-Prey Simulation ==> OBJECTIVE: To simulate predator prey interactions and record the numbers of predator and prey in their "ecosystem" and prepare a graph. ==> THEORY: In a stable ecosystem, the number of predators and the number of prey fluctuate, but remain relatively constant. Three factors can affect the cycling of predator and prey numbers: a) The reproductive rate of the prey b) The number of prey eaten by each predator c) The reproductive rate of the predator ==> HYPOTHESIS: Dependent Variable: No. of individuals (predators and preys) Independent Variable: Time (generations) It was hypothesized that predators increase when prey are abundant. Henceforth, preys are driven to low numbers by predation, and the predators decline, whereby the preys recover. Thus, the predator population is dependent on the prey population and this cycle keeps on repeating itself. ==> PROCEDURE: 1. Place 3 "prey" on the table. 2. Toss 1 predator onto the table (evenly dispersed) ...read more.


6. Again, number of prey doubles, if the predator didn't "capture" 3 prey, it died. But a new one moves in for the next round. Keep going, adding to the number of prey each round. 7. Eventually the predator will be able to capture enough prey to survive. The number of predators doubles. Add to the predator population by adding predator cards. Now when the predators are tossed, more than one will be tossed. Any "captured" prey should also be removed. 8. Continue to record the data through 20 generations. ==> RESULTS: => Data Table Generations 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th Number of Predators 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 Number of Prey 3 4 4 6 6 4 2 4 6 8 10 10 8 4 4 2 2 4 2 ...read more.


Hence, the predators and preys co-exist in the eco-system. Q. What inferences can you make based on this data? A. When the prey population rises, the predator population also keeps on increasing, as more predators survive by eating at least 3 preys each. However, as the predators increase in number, they start overfeeding on the preys, thus leading to a drop in the prey population. Once the prey population drops, the predator population drops due to lack of food. The cycle repeats indefinitely. From the graph, the one representing the prey population is a typical boom and bust graph, as once the prey population rises and reaches its peak, it suddenly drops, before building up again. On the other hand, the predator population is stable, even though the numbers remain low. ==> CITATION: The computerized graph was created with the help of the following website: * http://www.nces.ed.gov ...read more.

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