• 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)

    would have lost a significant amount of heat by the time the 7th test tube was filled. 4. As soon as all test tubes were filled, the initial temperature of the inner test tube and an outer test tube was taken (it does not matter which outer test tube is measured).

  2. Marked by a teacher

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

    3 star(s)

    boiling tube cooled by 11OC, and the wet boiling tube cooled by 25OC. The wet boiling tube cooled 14OC more than the dry boiling tube. Plan Experiment 5. 1. For this experiment I decided to cover the boiling tubes in dry paper towels and then pour 25cm3 of boiling water in to each boiling tube.

  1. Investigation to demonstrate how the surface area and volume affects the heat loss in ...

    A stopwatch will be used to time the investigation. 4. The temperature of the surrounding environment is a factor, which may affect the experiment. The tubes must be placed in the same environment. 5. The volume of water will be constant in proportion to the volume and surface area.

  2. cooling curves

    I calculated that the average net temperature change for one polystyrene cup (21) was higher than that of three polystyrene cups, which was 17. Also, the net heat loss of one cup was 8778J whilst it was just 7106J for three polystyrene cups.

  1. The Loss of the Aral Sea

    The commercial fishing industry became obsolete in the 1980's because the many species of fish were unable to adapt to the rapidly changing salinity levels of the water. Along with the rapidly receded shoreline (tens of kilometres), the access to the sea became hampered by fishing boats; fishermen resulted to using cars and jeeps to get to the waters edge.

  2. Investigation to discover which variable prevents the least amount of heat loss through convection, ...

    This is called 'controlling the variables', which will help me carry out the investigation as accurate as possible. Prediction: I predict that the cotton wool will prevent the most amount of heat loss from the beaker because, due to the composition of the cotton wool i.e.: several layers, air is trapped between the layers and so provides the best insulation.

  1. An Investigation into Water Loss from Plants.

    This is because all stomata on both the top and the bottom surfaces of the plant will blocked therefore no water from the plant cells of the leaf will be exposed to the air, therefore no concentration gradient can occur and water cannot escape from the leaf.

  2. In this investigation I will investigate heat loss and heat transfer in different materials ...

    I predicted this in my prediction that the more water I use, the warmer the beaker will stay. And we can see from my results that this was very true. Therefore from this investigation we can conclude that - Wrapping a liquid container with a type of insulation material will

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