# Investigating Animals in our Local Environment

In this worksheet, students will answer questions about the conditions found in habitats for example, why do woodlice live under stones?

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Biology: Interactions and Interdependencies

Curriculum subtopic:   Relationships in an Ecosystem

Difficulty level:

### QUESTION 1 of 10

Different animals choose different habitats because of the conditions - light, moisture and warmth. Animals' needs can be investigated in different ways.

We can search for animals and record where they are found.

We can also carry out an experiment to show which conditions animals prefer, by making 'mini' habitats and very carefully collecting animals and observing them.

Scientists handle animals very carefully and, after their investigation, they return them to where they were found as quickly as possible.

Jess wants to find out about which habitat conditions woodlice prefer. First she needs to collect the animals to observe.

In which TWO of these places is she most likely to find woodlice?

in the pond

under plant pots

on cabbages

in the compost heap

Jess uses a clear plastic dish with a lid.

In one half she puts dry, fine sand. In the other she puts damp kitchen roll.

 DARK: DRY SAND LIGHT: DRY SAND DARK: DAMP ROLL LIGHT: DAMP ROLL

She covers the dish down the middle with a piece of card. This makes half of the dish dark and the other half light. Jess puts 20 woodlice into the dish and leaves them for an hour.

Which conditions does Jess PREDICT the woodlice will prefer, thinking about where she found them?

dark and dry

dark and damp

light and dry

light and damp

Jess makes a two-column table of results. In one column she writes down the conditions in each quarter of the dish.

What should she record in the other column?

temperature

marks in the sand

number of woodlice

These are the results of the investigation:

 CONDITIONS NUMBER OF WOODLICE LIGHT AND DAMP 2 LIGHT AND DRY 0 DARK AND DAMP 15 DARK AND DRY 3

Write the missing word in this statement:

The results show woodlice prefer dark, damp conditions because _________ were found on the damp kitchen roll under the card.

Which reason best describes why Jess used 20 woodlice instead of 1?

because she likes woodlice

because she found lots of them

because a large number of woodlice give us better results

What must Jess do with the woodlice after counting them?

feed them

throw them away

put them in the pond

put them back where she found them

Jess wants to find out what snails eat. Which one of these is NOT a good way to answer this question?

looking for snails on plants

collecting snails and providing different foods

Jess asks her friend Ellie to help her with an investigation. Jess has grown wild flowers in her garden. Ellie's garden is a grass lawn.

They peg out two square areas: one on the grass and one in the wild flower bed.  They use string and garden canes. The side of each square is 1 metre in length.

They make a careful count of the animals living in both habitats.

Can you predict where they will find most animals?

in the wild flowers

in the grass

The students count the animals they find in 3 different meter squares on the lawn and in the wild flowers. Their results show that more spiders, insects, slugs and snails live in the wild flower habitat.

Jess thinks this is because there are many different plants growing in the wild flower bed, providing food for lots of different animals.

Ellie thinks it's because her pet rabbits have eaten all the other animals in her garden.

Who do you think is correct?

Jess

Ellie

• Question 1

Jess wants to find out about which habitat conditions woodlice prefer. First she needs to collect the animals to observe.

In which TWO of these places is she most likely to find woodlice?

under plant pots
in the compost heap
EDDIE SAYS
So, let's go on and find out WHY they prefer living in places like the compost heap, under stones and plants pots, etc. and not in the pond.
• Question 2

Jess uses a clear plastic dish with a lid.

In one half she puts dry, fine sand. In the other she puts damp kitchen roll.

 DARK: DRY SAND LIGHT: DRY SAND DARK: DAMP ROLL LIGHT: DAMP ROLL

She covers the dish down the middle with a piece of card. This makes half of the dish dark and the other half light. Jess puts 20 woodlice into the dish and leaves them for an hour.

Which conditions does Jess PREDICT the woodlice will prefer, thinking about where she found them?

dark and damp
EDDIE SAYS
Remember, at this stage Jess doesn't KNOW the answer - she can only PREDICT what she THINKS the woodlice will do. She will be basing that prediction on what she already knows about woodlice.
• Question 3

Jess makes a two-column table of results. In one column she writes down the conditions in each quarter of the dish.

What should she record in the other column?

number of woodlice
EDDIE SAYS
Jess needs to count how many woodlice are in each quarter and record it as soon as she lifts off the card.
• Question 4

These are the results of the investigation:

 CONDITIONS NUMBER OF WOODLICE LIGHT AND DAMP 2 LIGHT AND DRY 0 DARK AND DAMP 15 DARK AND DRY 3

Write the missing word in this statement:

The results show woodlice prefer dark, damp conditions because _________ were found on the damp kitchen roll under the card.

most
15
fifteen
EDDIE SAYS
The results of this investigation seem quite clear: after an hour the vast majority of the woodlice were huddled together in the part of the dish that had dark and damp conditions. Next we need to think about why that might be.
• Question 5

Which reason best describes why Jess used 20 woodlice instead of 1?

because a large number of woodlice give us better results
EDDIE SAYS
When Jess used a large number of woodlice, it gave her a better set of results because lots of the woodlice showed normal 'woodlouse' behaviour. A small sample may have behaved like the ones which chose the light, damp or dark and dry conditions.
• Question 6

What must Jess do with the woodlice after counting them?

put them back where she found them
EDDIE SAYS
We must always treat living things with care and put them back, unharmed into their natural habitat.
• Question 7

Jess wants to find out what snails eat. Which one of these is NOT a good way to answer this question?

EDDIE SAYS
Snails can be found on their favourite food plants, especially on a wet night! Jess could improve her investigation by collecting a large sample of snails and providing a range of foods for them, for example different leaves, vegetables or cereals.
• Question 8

Jess asks her friend Ellie to help her with an investigation. Jess has grown wild flowers in her garden. Ellie's garden is a grass lawn.

They peg out two square areas: one on the grass and one in the wild flower bed.  They use string and garden canes. The side of each square is 1 metre in length.

They make a careful count of the animals living in both habitats.

Can you predict where they will find most animals?

in the wild flowers
EDDIE SAYS
So, why did you PREDICT that? What did you base your prediction on? Was it to do with the variety of plants in the flower bed, the variety of food, the availability of light, the temperature? All these FACTORS may have an effect - it's why we do investigations to find out what's actually going on!
• Question 9

The students count the animals they find in 3 different meter squares on the lawn and in the wild flowers. Their results show that more spiders, insects, slugs and snails live in the wild flower habitat.

Jess thinks this is because there are many different plants growing in the wild flower bed, providing food for lots of different animals.

Ellie thinks it's because her pet rabbits have eaten all the other animals in her garden.

Who do you think is correct?

Jess
EDDIE SAYS
We can improve the habitats around us by growing a variety of plants, shrubs and trees which provide food and shelter for a wide variety of animals. Rabbits are herbivores, they only eat vegetables!
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