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Woodlouse turning maze

maze picture


Equipment

You will need  what you need

  • Plastic pot with a lid (to keep woodlice in) 
  • Wooden blocks or lego or similar building material
  • Paintbrush or cotton buds
  • Flat surface to work on.
  • Paper and pencil or pen
  • ruler (optional)
  • Woodlice



Method

1.Gather together all of your equipment.

2. Make your chart. You can print one here or draw your own using your pencil or pen and ruler.

3. Go and find some woodlice. The plastic pot is to put the woodlice into when you find them. The paintbrush or cotton buds are to help you to move the woodlice gently.

4. Build your maze. It needs to be on a flat surface so that the woodlice cannot crawl underneath the blocks. It needs to have lanes which are wide enough to allow the woodlice to walk along but not so wide that the woodlice can turn around easily.

5. Make a removable block at the first junction, forcing the woodlouse to turn left.

maze with block

6. Place a woodlouse into the maze.

7. After being forced to turn left at the first junction, does the woodlouse decide to turn left or right at the next junction? Make a note of the answer on your chart.

8. Remove the block forcing the woodlouse to turn left. Place the block into the maze so that the woodlouse is instead forced to turn right.

9. Place a woodlouse at the start of the maze and once again make a note of which way the woodlouse decides to turn at the second junction.

louse in maze

10. Repeat the experiment with a different woodlouse. Depending upon how many woodlice you have gathered you can repeat the experiment with another woodlouse. If any woodlouse tries to crawl up the walls or turn backwards or fails to move at all, remove the woodlouse from the experiment.

11. Look at your chart. Is there a pattern? What do you think that this means?

12. Release your woodlice back into the wild, preferably near to where you found them.

Results

Click here to view expected results.

For more information about woodlice please click here.

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