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Biology Investigation What affects the crawling speed of maggots?

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Biology Investigation

What affects the crawling speed of maggots?


This is an investigation to find out what affects the crawling speed of maggots, there are lots of different variables which could affect the speed at which a maggot might crawl, we will control one of these conditions and investigate it fully to find out its affect. The variable I have chosen to investigate is the surface area of the maggot. I am going to observe how fast different size maggots can complete a set length, and then attempt to draw a conclusion by using precise measurements and observations.

The key variables I will have to observe for my investigation are of course the size of the maggots and their dimensions. Other variables will have to be kept constant however for it to be a fair and exact experiment, these include:

  • Temperature of the room
  • Dampness
  • Light
  • Length the maggots will crawl
  • Keeping the level of the platform stable

My prediction to the outcome of this experiment is an obvious one, the smaller the maggot is in dimensions, the greater its agility therefore the faster it will crawl. This kind of natural phenomenon is apparent especially in evolution of species.

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Preliminary Conclusion

From the result table above, I can draw the conclusion that In most cases, the greater the length of the maggot, the greater the amount of time it took for the maggot to complete the set distance. Ofcourse these experiments will have been affected by a lot of variables which we could not control, but seeing as these were only preliminary we did not attempt it. Also, I have not shown the speed of each maggot for my preliminary as this was just to test my method.

I will now improve on this experiment by introducing surface area, and conduct experiments to see how each of these factors effected the maggots overall performance.

I will also look at ways to improve my experimental method and list the apparatus we used in order to get our results as fair and precise as possible in our given conditions.

To see how the surface area affected the speed at which a maggot completes a set distance

In order to improve my method of experimentation, I will use a narrower track than before, this

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 One way which would vastly improve the accuracy of our experiment would be the use of video streaming equipment; with this we could record each maggot making its individual run. We could put these recordings onto a computer and use a program to slow down and very accurately record each run.

After we have these accurate results (accurate to within milli-seconds maybe) we could use Microsoft Excel to create a spreadsheet, which would tell us each maggots speed, surface area, volume and surface area to volume ratio.

A good way to improve my experiment without the aid of additional funding however would be to use surface area to volume ratio manually without the computer. This data would tell me a lot more about how each variable affects the maggots speed and would give good accurate results if plotted onto a graph.

A completely new approach to our experiment would be to use some sorts of movement sensors hooked up to computers, these sorts of high tech equipment would be able to give us a lot more freedom of choice.

 Also, control over a room with central heating would be an ideal way to keep the temperature exact, giving compensation for human body heat.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

*** An interesting report but there are some concerns over the validity of the results.
Planning. There needed to have been much more thought put in regarding the control of key variables. Maggots are very sensitive to light and temperature and there seems to be little mention on how these are to be controlled. There is no discussion as to why different sized maggots were timed over different distances and since this is a key variable it seems to make the experiment invalid.
Obtaining Evidence Results were recorded clearly but more care was needed in the headings of tables. There was no graph or discussion of results obtained.
Evaluation There are few practical suggestions for improving the method. There seems to be little point recording the time in milliseconds when other key variables are not being controlled.

Marked by teacher Stevie Fleming 03/01/2013

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