Regeneration: Do Planaria Really Do It? (page 2)

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Author: Muriel Gerhard

Charting and or Graphing Data

In each section of the experiment, use charts to display the obtained data such the following sample:

Charting Your Observations: Planaria Regeneration

Question: Will the size of the segment determine whether the organism will regenerate? Will the smaller pieces fail to regenerate?


Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4














































D1     control





D2     control






Experimental Procedure

  1. State the problem you are going to investigate.
  2. Create and reproduce the data sheets you will use to record your observations.
  3. Gather all your materials.
  4. Put on your safety glasses, plastic gloves and apron.
  5. When you receive the Planaria, store them in glass containers filled with declorinated tap water. Feed them with beef liver twice a week. Keep them in a warm room, 68degrees F.
  6. When you are ready to begin, select 10 glass containers and label them as A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3 and D1 and D2. Fill all of the containers to the ¾ level with declorinated tap water.
  7. You are going to use four sets of planaria, each set made up of two planaria.  Place the planarian on a glass slide and use a sharp blade or knife for the cutting.   The first set of two will be cut in half and placed into containers A1 and A2. The second set of two will be cut in thirds and place in containers B1 and B2. The third set will be cut into fourths and placed in containers C1and C2. The last set will remain whole and placed in Di and D2. The fourth set is your control.
  8. Keep all of the specimens in a warm room and replenish the beef liver twice a week.  
  9. You may wish to take photos each week. Continue and record your observations on a weekly basis for one month.
  10. Analyze the collected data and finalize your conclusion.
  11. Prepare your report and include all of the following: a clear statement of the problem, your hypothesis, namely what did you predict would occur, and a list of the materials used. Include the safety precautions taken. Describe the procedures used. Include all the data that were gathered. Include all charts. Explain the purpose of the control.  Formulate your conclusions. For dramatic value, you may include photos of the materials used or of you in the process of conducting this investigation. Include a bibliography of sources you used. You may wish to assess what you did and describe what you would do differently if you were to do this project again. You may wish to expand this research next year.  The process of regeneration is not only intriguing but may yield extensive benefits to the prolongation of life. What other studies might you conduct for this purpose?


 Goss, R. J. 1969. Principles of Regeneration. Academic Press, New York.

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