An Experiment On Animal Behavior Termite Handedness

Topics: Left-handedness, Handedness, Organism Pages: 3 (701 words) Published: March 18, 2016
Termite Handedness
Animal behavior is the underlying concept of how living organisms act when presented a certain situation or environment. Understanding animal behavior in simple organisms such as termites can give us basic insight into how animal behavior works. In our experiment we tested termite “handedness” – if termites prefer to turn left or right. We did this by placing a termite in an ink path with a fork in it which would cause the termite to choose between going left or right. The ink used in the experiment attracts termites insuring they will not run randomly in any direction. The data suggests that termites will prefer to turn left when given a choice even when the right path is identical to the left. Overall, this lab experiment lays the groundwork for more complicated experiments and helps to understand animal behavior at a very basic level. Introduction:

Animal behavior is a complicated subject that we still have much to learn about. How exactly do animals behave in the most basic sense such as deciding where to go? It is known through previous experiments performed that termites will follow an ink path from a pen due to the ink scent being similar to which termite workers use [1]. This experiment is designed to determine if worker termites have a handedness. When a worker termite is presented with the choice between identical right and left ink paths which path will the termite prefer if any? I predict that the termite will have no preference and will choose paths randomly. If the termite does have a handedness I predict it will be due to the biological makeup of termites – they have a dominate side.

For this experiment we used worker termites that were placed carefully onto paper by using a soft bristled paintbrush. This was done to prevent the termite from losing legs or being hurt from transportation between trials. They were then placed onto a black ink trial from a Bic pen. The ink in this pen is similar to...
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