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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

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Sample answers


1. What features and behaviours of the Australian brush turkey did you observe in the video that may help it overcome challenges in its environment?

Answers may vary depending on student observations. Examples include:

  • Strong legs and large claws used for raking the ground when building mounds or looking for food

  • Wings that allow it to fly and quickly escape predators 


2. What question(s) were asked that led to the investigation?

Is the mound an incubator for brush turkey eggs? If so, is the temperature inside the mound stable throughout the day?


3. What prediction was made about the brush turkey mound?

The temperature inside the brush turkey mound would not change much throughout the day, but the air temperature outside the mound would increase from morning to midday and decrease from midday to toward the afternoon.


4. What data was collected to investigate the question?

Soil temperature (°C) and air temperature (°C) (quantitative data).

Observations of the brush turkey behaviour (qualitative data).


5. What tools and equipment were used to collect data about the brush turkey mound and the environment?

Glass thermometer to measure the temperature of the outside environment.

Soil thermometer (temperature probe) to measure the temperature inside the mound.

Pen/pencil and paper (or digital tools) to record data and other observations of the brush turkey’s behaviour.


6. Why were the soil and air temperatures measured at the same time?

To conduct a fair test.

A fair test means using the same methods to measure the temperature inside and outside the mound (including the time that each measurement was taken) so that the results can be compared accurately. If the soil and air temperatures were not measured at the same times throughout the day, the conclusions of the investigation may have been different.


7. Why were the measurements repeated over two weeks?

To check whether the results were reliable. 

Reliability means that the same results are found each time an investigation is repeated. As air temperature was expected to change throughout the week, the experiment needed to be repeated to check if the temperature changes recorded inside and outside the mound were a consistent finding.


8. How was the data represented so that it could be interpreted?

Air and soil temperature data was summarised into averages.

Average temperatures for morning, midday and afternoon were plotted on a line graph to show changes in temperature throughout the day.


9. What conclusions could be made about how building mounds is an adaptation of the Australian brush turkey?

The mound maintains a stable temperature throughout the day, despite changing temperatures outside the mound.

The mound would make a suitable incubator for the brush turkey’s eggs. Having an incubator for a nest is an adaptation because it allows the brush turkey chicks to develop in optimal temperatures, without needing the adult turkeys to spend time sitting on the eggs.


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