How the size of Tenebrio Molitor affects their Metabolic Rate

Kaleb Aguila, Peyton Anthony, Catherine Bahara, Mia Bowers, Emily Giddens


Everyone knows that bigger is better, but that might not be the case when it comes to metabolic rate. We choose to test if the body size affects metabolic rate with Tenebrio Molitor’s, also known as mealworms. We hypothesize that the mealworms that are smaller in size will have a higher metabolic rate, compared to the larger mealworms with a lower metabolic rate. This will be measured by collecting data from the mealworms oxygen levels. The total surface area of the smaller mealworms is less than the total surface area of the larger mealworms, therefore, the smaller mealworms will use less energy to obtain their specific metabolic rate. We ran ten, five minute trials with ten large mealworms in a small respiration chamber, and then measured their total carbon dioxide output. We repeated this step but substituted the large mealworms for smaller ones. The large mealworms produced an average 593.52 of CO2, compared to the smaller mealworms that produced an average 383.82 of CO2. Our experimental findings came to the conclusion that our hypothesis was not supported, because the larger mealworms, with a larger surface area, released more CO2 than the small mealworms, with the smaller surface area. In conclusion, the larger mealworms have a higher metabolic rate.

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