Territorial behavior of hamsters
The materials required for the science fair project:
- 4 single-layer hamster cages
- 4 double-layer (2 levels) hamster cages
- 16 hamsters
- 12 feeding trays
- 12 water dispensers
- 12 running wheels
- A pair of gloves
1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is placing the pair of hamsters in a cage with one set of resource or 2 set of resources. The dependent variable is the number of times the hamsters will confront each other and fight. This is determined by observing the hamsters for 8 hours. The constants (control variables) are the size of the cages, the number of hamsters in each cage and the length of time the hamsters are observed.
2. Select sixteen adult hamsters for this experiment. Divide them into 8 pairs.
3. Prepare the hamster cages by placing a water dispenser, food tray and running wheel in each of the 4 single-layer hamster cages. Place one water dispenser, food tray and running wheel on each level in each of the 4 double-layer hamster cages.
4. Release a pair of hamsters into each of the 8 cages. Observe their behavior for the next 8 hours. Observe the number of times each pair of hamsters confront each other and start a fight within the 8 hours, and record your observations in a table as shown below.
5. If the hamsters become too aggressive and start fighting violently, wear the gloves and remove one of the hamsters from the cage immediately.
Wear gloves when handling the hamsters to avoid getting bitten.