Here a Fish,  There a Fish - Grass Shrimp

Research Question: How and why do Grass Shrimp populations change along the Poquonnock River?

Part A: Read the background information

Grass shrimp (Palamonetes spp.) are very abundant in eelgrass, algae, mosquito ditches, tidal creeks and in water near salt marshes.  They are commonly seen crawling along the bottoms feeding on algae, detritus, and other small invertebrates.  The shrimp play an important role in the estuary by breaking down plant material and detritus. This helps provide a food source for smaller animals.  Grass shrimp are an important food source for larger predators like crabs and fish.  

Part B: Prediction and Reasoning

Study the background information provided on Grass Shrimp (above), and take the virtual tour of the Poquonnock River, paying close attention to habitat descriptions.  Write answers to the following prompts on your sheet of paper.

  1. Make a prediction:  In July, where along the Poquonnock River would you expect to see the most grass shrimp

  2. Explain your reasoning:  WHY do you think grass shrimp are most likely to be in this location?

Part C: Analyze the Data

Look at the dataset below.  On your piece of paper, illustrate the data by making a graph.  Your graph should have clear labels on both the x-axis and the y-axis.  The type of graph (scatterplot, column graph, etc) is up to you.

This table shows the number of grass shrimp captured while seining at each location, on a single day in July 2019.  

 Part D: Interpret the Results and Make Arguments from Evidence

On your sheet of paper, answer the following questions:

  1. Make a claim that answers the research question (one sentence).

  2. What evidence was used to write your claim? Reference specific parts of your graph.

  3. Explain your reasoning. Make sure to connect your answer to what you have learned about the biology of grass shrimp.

  4. Was your prediction supported by the results? Use evidence to explain why or why not.

  5. How would you follow up? Describe a new question that should be investigated to build on these results, and what future data should be collected to answer your question.

Congratulations!  Your final analysis should include the following components:

  • A statement of the research question that you chose/were assigned

  • Your prediction and your reasoning

  • Your labelled graph

  • Your answers to the results questions

Share your results with your teacher, and/or by emailing it to Project O:, attn: Dr. Molly

**Educators and/or homeschool parents: educator guides are available for all research projects. 

Email to request an educator guide**

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