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Biology Project - August 19th 2012, 03:34 PM

I am in my first upper level bio class and I have to do a project on a vertebrate animal. For the first step we have to find a 5 page article on one, and it has to be fun. He said is also grading for uniqueness. Finding the article is not too bad, but I want to keep in mind whatever I pick, I have to use for the rest of the semester for a massive project that is a huge percent of my grade. He said he wants all kinds of information about the animal such as it's behavior, evolution, how endagered it is(must be endagered or extinct), etc. We are presenting them throughout the course and in order. For example boney fish go first, then amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammels will be at the end of the semester during finals week. I have two ideas, but any input would be much loved!

My first idea is the Axolotl, which is a pink salamander. I found some interesting information on them, but if I pick this one, chances are I will be first to present unless someone decides to do a fish.... also the information I found, although unique, interesting, and even cool, is a somewhat limited. Possibly I could work around it.

The second idea is the Dire wolf. I'm not sure how creative this would be. I can find a crazy amount of information and can do all kinds of things with this animal, but again... the problem here is I don't know how unique this animal is and I would have to present during finals. This doesn't mean I can't get the presentation and everything together way in advanced, but I would still have to present it during finals...

Any opinions?


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Re: Biology Project - August 19th 2012, 04:42 PM

Did he give you a rubric? If not, can you ask for one? A lot of fimes things like creativity count for points, but not a ton of points. I've given several presentations during finals and I HATE them, but if you have a ton of informatiion the more time you get to put it together the better. If you think the first choice would give you enough information it could be nice to get it over with. Also, pick something you LOVE, because being stuck with a topic for 4 months means that you'll probably end up learning more about it than you ever wanted to know.


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Re: Biology Project - August 19th 2012, 09:42 PM

He said he is not giving us a rubric. Creativity does count for points, and I am not sure I want to stick with a salamander for 4 months, but if it means a better grade, I am willing to. I do have a high interest in Dire Wolves which is why I picked that one out of all the mammals I could of selected. It is one that I am interested in and found tons of information on. But again, I am not sure where that one stands on the creative scale and I would have to persent during finals.


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Re: Biology Project - August 20th 2012, 03:18 AM

I think in a way it's better to present early. Since the pink salamander is right about in the middle on the evolution scale, you'd have time to see how others present and what he's looking for. However, you're not going last so your teacher has less people to compare you to. Hope this helps!



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Re: Biology Project - August 22nd 2012, 10:38 PM

The advantage of presenting dire wolves is you're interested in them, so you should be fine gathering more and more information about them. I think there are some creativity points if you present the animal in a unique way, that is, if you compare the ability of it to survive to other types of wolves. When it comes to creativity points, I would imagine some of it is allotted to how commonly known the animal is. A wolf is very well known, however, I'm sure other creativity points are allotted to the angle you use when presenting the information as that shows you are passionate about studying the animal and know your stuff. The disadvantage though is a wolf is commonly known and if someone else presents this animal (whether it's a dire wolf or some other wolf), you run the risk of them presenting pertinent information you should have but failed to include.

The limited information for axolotls can be advantageous or problematic. It ensures you won't have to sift through as much information as for dire wolves so it would be easier to make a more concise presentation. The problem is if the information is too limited, you may find that you're not turning up much new information and may not be able to answer all questions.

For both animals, try to find information about the ecology, how they interact with it and overcome any hurdles. One area that is actively being researched for fish is the toxins in the water from the environment and introduced by humans. Researchers are interested in figuring out if the fish survive, adapt and how. Similarly, for dire wolves, if they're in areas where there area frequent forest fires, the air may be more concentrated with carcinogenic toxins, so it would be interesting to see if the wolves can overcome this and how. For either animal, knowing what the toxins are or what they are meant to do is mildly interesting but the key point is how do they affect the animal directly, indirectly and how is it able to overcome (if it does)?

You should try to go into as much detail as you can but make sure you understand it and don't focus just in one minute area.


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