ERIC Number: EJ884158
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
To Eat or Not to Eat: An Easy Simulation of Optimal Diet Selection in the Classroom
Ray, Darrell L.
American Biology Teacher, v72 n1 p40-43 Jan 2010
Optimal diet selection, a component of optimal foraging theory, suggests that animals should select a diet that either maximizes energy or nutrient consumption per unit time or minimizes the foraging time needed to attain required energy or nutrients. In this exercise, students simulate the behavior of foragers that either show no foraging preference or demonstrate a foraging preference based on profitability ratios (average energy content of food item, E/average handling time, h). Foragers that optimize their diets consistently acquire more total energy in a timed foraging period. The demonstration is scalable to a full laboratory exercise with statistical analysis and graphing activities.
Descriptors: Graphs, Dietetics, Statistical Analysis, Simulation, Eating Habits, Animals, Nutrition, Science Laboratories
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A