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The Effect of Environmental Conditions on the Behaviour
of Earthworms and Pill bugs
Background: The way animals behave and evolve is usually altered by the environment that surrounds them. Sincemost organisms cannot change the environment around them, they must position themselves in an environment with favourable conditions. One of the orientation behaviours of an animal is called Taxis. Itis a deliberate movement toward or away from stimulus. Taxis aids animals find a mate, food, or even a safer living environment.
Hypothesis: If the earthworm is placed into a dry environment and thepill bugs into a damp environment, then the earthworm will use Taxis in order to find the damper environment just as the pill bug will use Taxis to find a drier environment.
Variables |Effects of Variable on Experiment |
Independent: The environment | By changing the environment in which the earthworms and pill bugs are located their behaviour will change as well. The change ofbehaviour is due to Taxis which lead the insects to search for the environment in which they are the most comfortable. |
Dependent: The behaviour of the earthworms and pill bugs | The effect of thisvariable on the whole experiment is that through the behaviour change of the insects there will be an answer to the hypothesis. |
Controlled: Temperature, size of environments, amount of worms andpill bugs. | By controlling these variables one can be sure that this is a fair experiment. |

* Earthworms - Water
* Pill bugs
* Container
* Straws
* Tape
*Dry soil
* Damp soil

1. Observe the earthworms and pill bugs. Record the behaviour.
2. Gather all of the materials together.
3. Make a wall of straws by putting themtogether and taping them with the tape.
4. Place the wall of straws in the middle of the container, dividing the container in two.
5. Place dry soil on one side of the container and the damp...
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