Bio 120 - 1A Isopod Habitat Preference
INTRODUCTION Isopods are found in different types of habitats, from freshwater or marine to deserts and in damp, cool areas. Pill bugs are slow-moving, crawling creatures, and they are cold-blooded, which means their body temperature is regulated by the surrounding environment (Grzimek). Like other invertebrates, pillbugs are ectothermic, meaning their body temperature varies with the environment (Pillbug Profile). Since Armadillidiidae vulgare (Isopods) rely so much in their environment, we decided to come up with an experiment to show what kind of environment these specific Isopods prefer. After the set up, Isopods were observed in 5, 10 15 minute intervals. This will give them enough time to explore and decide which habitat they prefer. The dependent variable was how many Pill Bugs went to each environment, the independent variable will be the 2 different temperatures. I hypothesized that by the end of the 15 minutes that the Pill Bugs would be in the cooler area because they are mostly found under ground and under rocks which are usually cool moist places.
METHODS We were testing to find out if the “Pill Bugs” would prefer hot or a cold environment. We started off with 13 isopods, an odd number so there would not be tie. In a pan we added sand to make the isopods feel like they are in their natural environment. One side of the pan we put a clamp light about 12 inches above the pan. On the other side we put a ice filled beaker directly in the sand. We put all 13 isopods in the middle of the pan, observed them in five minute intervals for 15 minutes. Every 5 minutes we counted to see how many Pill Bugs were on the hot side, cold side and in the middle.
RESULTS Based on the results in (Table 1) most of the pill bugs would prefer a cooler environment. At the end of the experiment their were 9 pill bugs that were in the cold area, 2 pills bugs were in the hot area and 2 were