Nature of Science

Submitted by Juli Uhl on

An ecologist observes the diet of a bird species consists primarily of large grass seeds, less on medium seeds and nearly no small seeds.  She hypothesizes that birds choose the larger seeds because they have a higher concentration of protein than smaller seeds.  To test this hypothesis, she analyzes protein content of the seeds and indeed finds that large seeds have a higher concentration of protein than medium or small seeds. 

a.  Did she prove her hypothesis to be true?  Why or why not?

b.  Can she conclude that the birds select the larger seeds due to their higher concentration of protein?  Why or why not?

Topics: 

Question Instructions: 

We recommend that you administer these questions as homework and preface the question with these instructions for students:

"For the following question, please respond to the best of your knowledge and using only the information in the question and what you know. Please do not refer to any outside sources (textbooks, notes, internet, etc.). Any reasonable attempt to answer the question will be awarded full credit."

To administer this question:

  1. Create a text question in your learning management system
  2. Copy the text and any images for the question from this web site and paste it into your learning management system.

To analyze your data for questions with Reports Available:

  1. Login to your account on this website
  2. Return to this question
  3. Click on the link below Analyze your data for this question.
  4. Upload your spreadsheet for analysis

Audience: 

Reports: 

File Attachments: 

thumbnail of small NSF logo in color without shading

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (DUE grants: 1438739, 1323162, 1347740, 0736952 and 1022653). Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.