Science JunctionLesson 3

 What is the Optimal Temperature for the Hatching and Development of Brine Shrimp Eggs?

Students will be able to:  Note: Safety goggles and aprons should be worn at all times during this lab activity.

brine shrimp egg culture
Salt water
six test tubes
3 thermometers
3 beakers or test tube racks to hold test tubes
hand lens or dissecting microscope
Petri dishes
Refrigerator (preferably) or ice bath
Incubator or light source

Working with a partner:
1. Place a dropper of brine shrimp culture in a petri dish. Using a hand lens or a dissecting
microscope, observe the culture and describe the characteristics of a healthy brine shrimp
2. Label six test tubes # 1-6. Fill each test tube half full with salt water.
3. Add one drop of brine shrimp culture to each test tube.
4. Place the test tubes in the following locations:

5. Based on your knowledge of aquatic ecosystems and temperature, hypothesize how the
cultures will change over a 24 hour period.


6. After a 24 hour period, pour the contents of each test tube into a petri dish and observe
with a hand lens or dissecting microscope.
7. Record your observations in the data table.

 Data Table:


After the observations are complete, answer the following questions

1. Does the data collected support your hypothesis? Why or why not?

2. Based on your observations, what is the optimal temperature for the hatching and
development of brine shrimp?

3. Based on your observations, what would happen to organisms in an aquatic ecosystem
if the temperature increased or decreased?

4. How would this affect the aquatic ecosystem as a whole? (Consider other organisms such as macroinvertebrates and fish.)

5. Research the effects of thermal pollution on aquatic organisms. Write a short paragraph explaining the effects on an ecosystem as the water warms due to thermal pollution.

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©1998 April J. Cleveland for Science Junction, NC State University. All rights reserved.
page design by Lisa Leonor Grable and April J. Cleveland 
Last Modified: 6/8/98
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