Monday, March 21, 2016

What Mealworms Don't Do:Observations on Mealworm Behavior or lack thereof

During the study period, the worms were generally stationary, but during the periods marked “No Change”, any worms that were in a specific food quadrant were still in said quadrant, any moving worms were still moving, and any stationary worms were still stationary. The data, as a result, is not particularly varied, consisting of some movement near the beginning and end of the study, but otherwise no change. However, there may be certain factors as to why so much of the data consists of minimal change. These factors are not inherently problems, but may have influenced the turnout of the study.

·        The worms were taken from captivity, and may not have had responses to being watched or a desire to go towards food.
·         The worms were scared to move and were playing dead.
·         The worms were dead.
·         The worms simply don’t do much.
·         It was cold in the study area, meaning the worms were sluggish.
·         We studied too few worms.
·         The worms were secret agents and wouldn’t do anything when watched.
·         Due to the study taking place on a smooth surface, the fossorial worms may have had trouble moving due to not having very prominent legs or being equipped to dig rather than walk on smooth ground.

Before the main study period involving food sources, a general observation took place for 5 minutes. During said study period, in many cases, the worms simply crawled. Almost no interaction took place, expect for certain worms moving other worms due to the others being in the way of their crawling. During the beginning, more worms moved due to curiosity or fear. However, near the end, the worms were accustomed to being studied and exhibited almost no response. When the worms flipped themselves over, when on the smooth surface, they had trouble righting themselves. This was probably due to the smooth surface, as the worms were seen righting themselves before the study began. My conclusion from this study is that mealworms are boring as that is what I observed. Given more or fewer factors, the data may have been more interesting. But what I observed was crawling, defecating, and refusal to move. 

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