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Title: Finding differences in density of birds and mammal

bones by measuring their volume and mass in a practical


Background research: Birds usually have denser bones than mammals as

their bones are hollow. Having hollow bones means that it is more fragile, so to
be stronger bird bones have to have the cells more packed together, which
makes their bones denser. This helps them to have more strength and stiffness
when they are flying. However, compared to birds, who don’t really use their
femur, mammals especially rabbit do and it is for them an important bone. This
means that this bone needs to be stronger to resist more impact.

Hypothesis: I think that the chicken bones are going to be denser because
bird have hollow bones which means that to be stronger and stiffer they need
to be denser.

Variables and fair test:

 Control variables- the scale,
 Independent variable- the animal bone (chicken / rabbit)
 Dependent variable- mass and volume
 Fair test- To make these result as accurate a possible I will be repeat my
process 3 to 6 times and then calculating an average. I will also follow the
same process for both types of bones, for example measuring the mass
before putting in in the water, so that it is a fair test.

Materials/ apparatus:
 Measuring Cylinder
 Scale
 A spatula (to push the bone in if it floats)


1. Gather equipment (measuring cylinder, scale, spatula, bones, water)

2. Pick a bone and clean off any extra things on it
3. Weigh the bone on a scale, fill the weight in the result table
4. Fill the measuring cylinder with water ( having enough water to have the
bone completely emerged by water)
5. Put the bone in the cylinder filled with water, write down in your result
table the new water level.
6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 for all the different bones
7. Calculate the averages of the mass and volume difference for the chicken
bone and do the same for the rabbit bones.
8. Divide the average mass and the difference in volume average to find the
average density for each type of animal bone.

Conclusion : In our experiment we measured the density of chicken and

rabbit femurs, then found an average and compare them. My results showed
that the density in both the rabbit and the chicken were the same. This did not
prove my hypothesis, as I predicted that the chicken femur would be denser.
Unfortunately, I don’t think my results are reliable because of my rounding
which was not accurate enough. However, my results do prove that even
though there may be a difference in density between the two animal bones, the
difference is very minor.

Evaluation : Even though I kept my experiment a fair test, I don’t think my

results are accurate because I rounded my answers. The density in chicken and
rabbit might only have a small difference and by rounding it makes it look like
they have the same density. To really make my results as accurate as possible I
should have rounded my numbers to 3 decimal places instead of 1. I could have
also repeated the process more times to obtains a more accurate average.
The bones were a little bit oily which means that when we put them in the
water a little layer of oil formed at the top which made it confusing to where
the water level was at. To make sure this would not have happened we should
have scrubbed to bones to make sure there was no oil.
If we were to continue this experiment, I think it would be cool if we found the
strongest/ most used bone in both the chicken and rabbit, and compare their
density. This way we would know whether any of these qualities affect the
density of the bones, which would help with our fair test.