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What type of experiment should we do??

Postby JacksonLut » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:02 pm

"Which is faster, a cat, or a dog and why?" We have research supporting that a Grey Hound is faster than a domestic cat. However, we are at a loss on how to experiment our hypothesis. We can't use live subjects. So, we thought we could utilize balls of various shapes, sizes, and weights to represent the animals. We'll use a ratio system to decide which ball represents each animal. Then, we will time the balls in a rolling race. The balls will be raced on a slightly pitched surface to create movement.

Does this sound like an acceptable experiment? If not, could you please help us with some suggestions?

Thank you,

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Re: What type of experiment should we do??

Postby TheScienceJerk » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:41 am

Hi Jackson, and welcome to AAE!

I don't think your project is really valid.

1. Weight. The weight of animal does not effect how fast it travels, accept for the fact that it makes the animal go a little slower because he must carry the load. With a ball, the weight would make the dog/cat go faster not slower. Weight is not what makes a dog move, it's his muscle strength.

2. The ratio system is a good idea but because the variable you are using it with is invalid, then it is not helpful in this case.
Everybody worries about 'becoming' a jerk, but if you're a jerk to begin with, you don't have to worry about ever becoming one.

-TheScienceJerk (TSJ)

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Re: What type of experiment should we do??

Postby dcnick96 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:45 am

Hello, and welcome to Science Buddies!

Simulating the speed of cats and dogs will certainly be difficult. You must account for muscle mass and agility. It also depends on the breed. Sometimes, cats will win. Other times, dogs will win. However, you can still do this project! Research online average speeds of different breeds of cats and dogs. If you're having difficulty finding data, visit your local veterinarian. They may be able to help you. Then, as you get different numbers, concentrate on why speeds are different among the breeds? What in their genetic makeup allows some breeds to be faster than others?

I hope this helps. Feel free to write back with more questions. Good luck!

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Re: What type of experiment should we do??

Postby HeatherL » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:34 am

Hi Jackson,

You have a really great project idea, and have already gotten some excellent advice. I think Deana's idea about researching different speeds for different dog and cat breeds could turn into a solid project.

Something to keep in mind is the different ways that dogs and cats run. Cats are very flexible, and can use their spine to help them spring forward. Some dog breeds (like the greyhound) are bred for speed, so they are especially muscular and fast. When you look for your data, make sure to record as much information as you can find about each animal (breed, age, body size), so you can see if those factors affect the speed.

Good luck with your project! Please post again if you have more questions.


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