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Pasta Worms Lab

Background:

While exploring a section of the Undiscovered Land you come across three bird species that forage heavily on these pasta worms. The three bird species look similar to each other but have quite different bills. One species has a bill resembling a plastic fork, you decide to name these forkbills. Another species has a spoon-like bill. These you decide to call spoonbills. The last ones have a sharp serrated bill. These are called knifebills.

While watching the birds forage a question comes to mind, "Does the color of the worm affect bird predation ?" You decide that an observational experiment would answer that question.

You will write a standard lab report and provide a hypothesis, equipment list and conclusion. To expedite the data gathering use the following procedure and data table.

Procedure:

  1. Count the number of each color pasta. There should be about equal amounts.
  2. Sprinkle pasta on an outside grassy area.
  3. Supply each student with a "beak" (spoon, fork, knife) and a cup.
  4. Students gather pasta into their cup with their "beaks" for 2-3 minutes. No fair using hands.
  5. When finished foraging, the student members of each species gather to count the numbers of each color pasta gathered.
  6. As a class tabulate data and analyze.

Data Table

Use your class' data to complete the following data tables:

Pasta Worms Green Red Yellow
Starting number of worms
 

 

 
Worms consumed
 

 

 
Survivors
 

 

 
% survival =
100*(starting - consumed ) / starting