Small Animal Metabolism

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Small Animal Metabolism

Materials:
3 Gerbils (8, 24, 17)
Cage
Circular Tube
2 Plugs
Brown Paper Towel
Weight and Balance
Soap Solution
Drierite
Glass Pipette
Metal Poker

Procedure
Our hypothesis for the Small Animal Metabolism lab was that the gerbil will consume oxygen at a greater rate than a mouse because the gerbil is larger in size. To begin this experiment we obtained a gerbil from a specific cage and weighed it on a balance. After we had weighed the gerbil, we inserted the animal into a circular cage with the aid of paper towel to help minimize physical activity. After the gerbil was put in the circular cage, we then inserted the cage into a larger, circular plastic tube which already had one end plugged with a stopper and drierite at the bottom. The drierite was placed in to tube to absorb the CO2 given off by the animal. To help prevent the animal from coming in contacting the caustic chemical we placed brown paper towel over the top of the drierite. The next step was then to let the animal sit for 45 seconds before plugging up the other end so that tube and gerbil received enough oxygen. Once the 45 second mark was reached we plugged the other end of the plastic tube, and then put the glass pipette in the opening of the one plug. Once the pipette was securely attached soap was put at the end of the glass pipette. The soap that was put there produced a bubble, which was used for measuring the oxygen consumption of the animal up to four grams. As soon as the bubble was produced we measured the time the bubble took to reach four grams. Once four grams was obtained the stopper was unplugged so that fresh oxygen could fill the chamber. We then repeated this process three more times and with two different gerbils. At the end of our experience out hypothesis was correct. Also, the temperature in the chamber will usually fluctuate because when the animal breathes in and out it will be giving off heat. This heat will cause the...
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