The dried beans represent the field mice(prey), the
bowl represents a meadow (habitat), the spoon the weasel (predator).
Place 10 ?field mice? in the bowl. This is the initial population for the meadow and is the minimum population (the lowest number) that may begin each generation!
Place the plastic bowl on a flat surface and without looking run the spoon through the bowl, this will represent the weasel hunting for the field mice in one generation.
Count the number of field mice (beans) caught and record in the data table (see below). Subtract the number caught from the number that you started with in the bowl and record that number as the surviving prey. Double the numbers of surviving prey and place that number of mice in the bowl. This will be the initial field mouse population for the next generation. For example if there are 7 mice left after the weasel has hunted, those 7 mice double (add 7 to the dish), and so on. This number of field mice is the initial prey for the next generation. Remember you must always have the minimum population number of 10 when you start the next generation..... though you may have more than 10
The weasel must catch five field mice to survive, if less than five are caught the weasel dies or emigrates (leaves) the meadow. Note: A new weasel will migrate into the meadow at the beginning of the next generation if there are no weasels remaining at the end of a generation., If a weasel catches 5 mice then she survives and she reproduces one weasel for every five caught. (see above)
If there are two weasels then you must scoop the spoon two times through the bowl and record the total number captured. You scoop through the dish as many times as you have weasels. Subtract the total numbered captured from the initial population to get your surviving prey number to double for the next generation. The number of field mice in the meadow (bowl) can never exceed the carrying capacity of 100.
Complete 20 generations of weasel predation and record the data in the table provided.
Graph the initial population of predator (weasel) and prey(field mice) for each generation (use excel if able to).
Answer the following questions:
A) From your graph describe the relationship between the population size of the mice and the population size of the weasel...be specific. Do you think this is an accurate representation of this relationship, why or why not? Who controls who... do the mice control the weasels or do the weasels control the mice?
B) Go to http://isleroyalewolf.org/ and you will go to a most interesting website dealing with Isle Royale.... click on the "Technical" drop down menu and then click on " data and interpretation"... under #1 Five Decades of Wolf - Moose Dynamics click on the "Click here" button at the end of the paragraph... a graph of moose/wolf predator prey interaction from Isle Royale will appear. Look at the graph and click the "next" button and read the description of what has happened with this real-world predator/prey relationship. Does this graph from the real world correspond to the simulated graph you produced? How is it similar, how is it different? Who controls who in the case of the wolf and the moose?
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