Animal Behavior
Contents Observing Behaviors: Pillbug Behavior

If you have never spent time eye to eye with these small crustaceans, you'll be surprised at how much you can discover about them.

In the first part of this exercise, you observe pillbugs and record what you see. Below are some questions to think about as you watch them. Some of these questions you can answer through observation; others require you to read about pillbugs and crustaceans or think about what you already know. You may wish to print the list of questions to take to laboratory with you.

How do the pillbugs seem to sense their environment?
Are they all the same species?
Can you tell differences in males and females?
How many eyes do they have?
How many legs?
Do they exhibit any dominance behaviors?
How do they respire?
How do they grow?
What are some stimuli they seem to respond to?

One way to record your observations of an organism is to make a sketch of it. In the next section we discuss how to do a scientific sketch.

Continue to Scientific Sketching.