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Do Animals Use the Color of Light to Tell Which Way is Right?

Peabody Charter School
Teacher: Claire Poissonniez
Scientists: Gerick Bergsma and Robin Pelc

In the shallow water you can see all of the colors but in the deep water you can only see the color blue.

Do animals use the color of water to find out different depths?

Deep water animals will go to the blues and the shallow animals will go to the red.

To do this experiment you will need:

Red and blue cellophane
A tub of sea water
A pencil and paper to write down notes
Two sea creatures that live in deep water
Two sea creatures that live in shallow water

Step 1: Fill your tub with salt water
Step 2: Put your animal in the middle of your tub
Step 3: Put red cellophane on one side of the tub and blue on the other
Step 4: Wait, and then record where the animals goes
Step 5: Switch the sides of cellophane and do everything again

The bat star went to the blue 6 times and the red 5 times. The red urchin went to the red 7 times and the blue 9 times. The purple urchin went to the blue 2 times and the red 7 times. The turban snails went to the blue 9 times and to the red 23 times.

What we concluded is that shallow water animals use the color of light to decide which way to go. The reason that shallow water animals use the color of light to guide them is because if they get too deep they will be eaten. We concluded this because the deep water animals mostly went to one side of the tank where the shallow animals moved toward the red side almost all of the time.