Sometimes, collegiate level labs do not work. In some ways, this can be funny, and in others, not quite funny. Simply put, you do not get the results you needed, wanted, or hoped for, and therefore you lose some credit for doing the lab. In fact, at the Universtiy of Minnesota (and probably most places), the TA’s are given a range of acceptable lab result values that will result in full credit. If the numbers are outside of this range, you do not get full credit. Some way to review the “scientific method.” They encourage us to use scientific reasoning and ignore “right and wrong” while we grapple with finding a solution, and then turn around and grade result accuracy. I have yet to see if this applies to my Animal Behavior lab, in which we visited the zoo and observed Japanese snow monkeys. We accessed primary source literature (a lot of Japanese people study the Japanese snow monkeys, believe it or not), formulated a partial ethogram, and then promptly watched our experiment crash and burn.
You see, while Macaque fuscata are called snow monkeys, they do not love cold weather. Thus, during the course of our observation of their behavior, they were mostly concealed in their heated feeding den.
Reviewing the pages of timestamped graph paper is an exercise in futility - there is no appreciable amount of data. No data, no trends. No trends, no conclusion. No conclusion, no point. Yes, we sat there for 70+ minutes, and gathered three data points. Three. The resulting bar graph is yet another piece of pointlessness - three categories total, zero data for two of them and three hard earned points for the other. What a conclusive trend. Soon, we will see if this astoundingly small amount of data is enough to merit credit for a 300 level Biology lab.
But the graph is still hilarious.
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