You will choose a local vertebrate species and design an experiment, formulate hypotheses and conduct a series of observations concerning some aspect of the animal’s behaviour (this needs to adhere and comply to government-directed Covid-related restrictions on movement). Alternately, you may choose from one of two online options, where the experiment has already been conducted and you can do further work solely based at a computer. The data will be collated, analysed (tables / graphs) and scientifically interpreted, specifically citing in the discussion seven – ten pertinent journal literature articles to provide support for your critical argument. Literature should concern ecological, physiological or behavioural adaptations (as determined by your specific study question), characteristic of the species / vertebrate group you are investigating. The report should include: 1. Title. 2. Introduction / Aim (half a page, use references to set the scene and provide a rationale). 3. Methods (up to a page – be detailed – someone should be able to read it and do exactly what you have done. Rationalise why you have done the things you have done). 4. Results (including a series of comprehensively labelled figures, tables & summarised written results. Put raw data composing huge tables in an appendix. Where possible, use graphs and figures to show trends. You MUST spend up to a page summarising results with specific reference to all tables and figures). 5. Detailed discussion (2-4 pages, which must be interpretive, specifically referring to the published literature to argue your case and craft a detailed analysis of its meaning. You must use 7-10 journal references strategically to interpret your results and extend your ideas and thoughts about what they mean (don’t just use them as a throwaway). 6. References. List these consistently and in full in the references section and ensure you use in-text references appropriately to support the content and ideas presented. 7. Hints: pay VERY close attention to scientific style (format, tables, figures, third person, past tense, and your grammar and sentence construction throughout). Refer to published journal ecological literature as a general guide to scientific writing. Reference appropriately and be SCIENTIFIC – there is a formula to this type of writing, and you must become familiar with it. [NB refer next page for Marking Criteria].
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