Animal behavior science projects can be created around a variety of creatures, domestic and wild. Insects are frequently used as they can often be released into the wild after the science project has been completed. Some animal behavior projects can be conducted through research rather than actual experimentation, particularly when the animal is unavailable for direct observation. Utilize local resources of information such as a zoo, aquarium or veterinarian when possible.
Ants can be used for several different experiments. Determine how temperature affects ants. Test the size of food preferred by the local ant population. What type of repellent is most effective against an, ant, cockroach or cricket? How do ants behave when antagonized? Test the cockroaches’ sense of direction. Research what attracts mosquitoes to humans and animals. Determine what external stimuli affect the chirping of crickets. Does alcohol or caffeine affect a spider’s ability to weave its web? Test what colors or smells attract butterflies to a garden. Research the monarch butterfly migration.
Small Animal Projects
Many students may have pets at home that can be used to test animal behavior. Experiment to determine what sounds cats respond to. Test the memory of dogs. Compare eyesight of cats and dogs to find out who sees better in the dark. Determine whether music effects pets. Can an animal's sleeping habits be influenced by artificial light? Determine if rodents such as guinea pigs or hamsters are territorial. Test the ability of mice to run a maze at different times of day. Alter variables such as the amount of light or type of reward at the end of the maze to see if there is any affect. Experiment to see if dogs or cats see color. Compare breeds to identify behaviors that seem to be genetic.
Other Animal Experiments
Research how animals protect themselves from possible predators. Many areas have wild bird populations that enjoy feeding at local bird feeders. Determine what color of birdseed the local variety prefers. Experiment with the color of birdfeeders to see if hummingbirds have a preference. Observe a bird feeder to find out if some birds will not approach the feeder while other birds are present. Does the addition of a birdbath near the feeder alter the number of birds attracted to the area? Test the affect of artificial light on the activity level of goldfish. Research how herd animals communicate with each other. Investigate the migration of a specific animal such as whale, wildebeest or elephant.