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Do turtles recognize colors?Featured science projectScience project video


The materials required for this  science fair project are as follows:

-    10 Diamondback terrapins
-    a blue feeding tray
-    a red feeding tray
-    a yellow feeding tray
-    small fish as turtle bait, or alternatively, turtle feed


1.    For this experiment, the independent variable is the color of the 3 feeding trays (blue, red and yellow). The dependent variable is the number of turtles that go to the correct food tray. Count how many turtles move towards each food tray. The constants (control variables) are the length of the distance between the food trays and the turtles, and the type of food used as turtle feed. The trays should be identical in shape and size.

2.    Prepare the 3 feeding trays. They should be of the same size and shape, but of different colors (blue, red and yellow).

3.    Purchase (or if possible, borrow) 10 Diamondback terrapins from a local pet store. Train the turtles for a week: they are to eat from the blue tray. are trained for one week to eat only from a blue color food tray. They will be fed only once a day so that the turtles will learn to recognize and rush to the food tray immediately.

4.    After 7 days of training, the turtles are ready to be tested. Arrange the trays in a row and place the food in each of the 3 trays. The blue tray is to be on the extreme left. The red tray is to be in the middle of the 3 trays. The yellow tray is to be on the extreme right. Release the hungry turtles 1meter away from the trays. Count how many turtles go to each tray, and record this in the table below.

5.    Repeat procedure number 4 over the next 2 days but place the trays in different positions (red-blue-yellow; red-yellow-blue).

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
It will take 7 days to prepare for this science project, and 3 days observation.
Material availability:
Turtles may be obtained from a local pet store.
Safety concerns: