|methods of science|
|hands-on science activities|
|fun & games|
|other science resources|
Activity1—The hands-on experiment on predation will use organisms common to local Carolina bays: zooplankton (prey), and larval salamanders, adult salamanders (newts), and fish as predators. Students will go to work stations in groups of four. Each pair of students will examine the effects of a selected predator on its prey. Predator treatments in the experiment include: male Betta (Siamese fighting) fish, larval marbled salamanders, and adult red-spotted newts. Each pair of students will begin by observing the prey and the predator separately (pre-counted zooplankton will be given to them in test tubes; predators will be given to them in the observation chambers). Then prey will be added to the observation chamber. Students will record observations, and then cover the chambers and set them aside to begin Activity 2 (see below). After completion of Activity 2, students will re-examine their chambers, count the remaining zooplankton, and calculate the number eaten by the predator. These data will be used to determine the effects of different predator treatments on prey.
will assume the role of “predator” and be asked to locate appropriate
prey items that instructors have placed throughout the room. Predator categories
include: bobcat, Marsh Hawk, alligator, bullfrog, kingsnake, and praying mantis.
Prey categories are snakes, frogs, mice, fish, insects, and rabbits. Students
will “stalk”, “kill”, and “eat” as many
prey as they can in five minutes. Individual predator successes will be compared,
and concepts related to food quality, energy allocation, and prey adaptations
Observing the behavior of predators (salamander larvae) and their prey (zooplankton).
A "bobcat" searches for an appropriate prey item in the "be a predator for a day" game.
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