Saturday, 16 November 2013

MAKING AN AQUATIC AND A TERESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM

 So many things happened in the class when we did this experiment! We were lucky to see many natural processes occur in front of our eyes!
 To set up the ecosystems we used two plastic bottles. One, for the aquatic ecosystem and one, for the terrestrial ecosystem. We cut them both and filled the bottom bottle with gravel and water. We added gravel and soil to the top ecosystem and also some birdseeds. Once the habitats were set up each group was free to add any living thing they could find and bring. By doing this all sorts of things happened before are eyes!

Making the bottom floor
Making the top floor
 Here are some pictures of how we set up the habitats. Birdseeds grow very fast and they made a quick plant environment for the animals.

Water and gravel
Soil for the top floor
Birdseeds growing
A collection of ecosystems
A balanced ecosystem
Larvae on a potato plant leaf
 One group added some larvae that they found growing on the potato plants of another experiment we had in the class. Shortly after, the larva changed into a pupa and formed a cocoon in a corner of the bottle and began metamorphosis, After some time we were able to see the pupa change into a moth. In the following photos you can see how it transforms!


Larva in the ecosytem
Coccoon
Spider weaves its web over the coccon
Metamorphosis begins

A spider that was also in the same ecosystem placed itself next to the cocoon and stayed there for several days. We thought it was probably waiting for the adult to emerge from the cocoon and to trap it as soon as possible. It also made a web over the cocoon! So we didn’t just see the larva changing into a pupa, we saw also saw a spider weaving its web!

Pupa in a leaf

 The larvae made cocoons in other parts of the ecosystem. In this picture you can see how it has bent a leaf for protection.
Pupa in a leaf
Pupa on the curtain
We also found a cocoon out of our ecosystems!!! Here is one on the classroom’s curtains …this is wildlife in the class!!
A closer view of the pupa on the curtain!!
Look at the following photographs and observe the transformation. We were able to see metamorphosis!
Pupa begins metamorphosis
Moth leaves coccoon
Moth leaves coccoon 

Moth
Moth
 Another metamorphic process that occurred was the transformation of mosquito larvae into mosquitoes. One of the groups of students brought many mosquito larvae from an abandoned swimming pool and they added them to the bottom floor of their experiment. Many students were surprised to see that mosquitoes emerge form the water! This is because their larvae are aquatic. Many students had seen these larvae before but didn’t know they were mosquito larvae!

Mosquitoes just after metamorphosis and mosquito larvae in the water
Mosquitoes leave the aquatic ecosytem
video

 We were able to see perfectly how the larvae left the water as adult mosquitoes. There were so many in the bottle that every day we had to set some free.

Beetle begins to roll the vegetation
 Another natural event that took place in one of the ecosystems was performed by a beetle. This animal destroyed all the plants in the top floor and rolled them into a big ball. The beetle covered itself with it. Some beetles feed on this matter when it begins to decay. The students of this group were very surprised to see how their terrestrial ecosystem had disappeared in a day!! Here you can see the big ball of plants and soil surrounding the beetle.

Beetle rolling the plants

 In the following pictures you can see different living things in the ecosystems. Snails, geckoes, grasshoppers, worms, flies, fish etc.

Grasshopper on the ball of plants and soil made by the beetle
Grasshopper
Students working on their ecosystem
Snail
Snail
Fish
Gecko
Beetle
Fish
Observation 
Observation
Making the ecosystems
The students thoroughly enjoyed this experiment!!




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