Pill Bugs' Preferences Concerning a Sheltered Environment vs. an Unsheltered One

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Problem: Do Pill bugs prefer being in an environment with tight spaces, or a more open environment?

Hypothesis: If the pill bugs are given a choice of an open environment or one with tight spaces, then the pill bugs will respond by going to the environment with tight spaces.

Brief Methods We used a Petri dish with 2 circle, and an opening connecting the two. We put 10 Pill Bugs in the opening between the two circles, and timed them for one minute. This gave them time to choose dish 1 or dish 2. We then counted the number of Pill Bugs in each circle. We did this 3 times. This was the control group in the experiment. Then we changed the independent variable: the environment in each of the dishes. In dish 1, we took strips of paper and lined the edges of the dish, so that there were no corners, just a curved surface. In dish 2, we used pieces of paper to make a maze full of small passages and corners. Then we took the 10 Pill Bugs and put them in the opening between the two circles. Then we timed them for one minute, to give them time to pick one side or the other. We counted the number of Pill Bugs in each dish. This was also done 3 times.

Data Table(s) The Effect of Tight Spaces on Pill Bugs’ Habitat

Trial #Pill Bugs in dish 1Pill Bugs in Dish 2
Control 1 100
Control 2 100
Control 3 73
Experiment 182
Experiment 291
Experiment 3100

Discussion/Conclusion
It appears that this experiment and its results may not be a reliable source of information to use when determining what factors affect Pill Bugs’ habitat. The control part of the experiment – to make sure there were no differences in the 2 Petri dishes before the independent variable was changed – did not show that. It showed with surprising certainty that the pill bugs preferred dish 1. For 2 out of the 3 control trials, all 10 pill bugs chose dish 1, making the average of all 3 to be 9 out of 10 pill bugs, or 90%, choosing dish 1. However, some information can...
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