I first became interested in temperature dependent predation success (TPS) when my sister and I had a conversation about the impacts of rising water temperatures on arctic food webs. Changing arctic water temperatures affect the swimming speed of some organisms. When water temperature rises, some organisms’ swimming speeds increase and other organisms swimming speeds decrease. This has serious food web consequences on predator and prey relationships. The speed of sharks increases while the speed of pinnipeds (i.e. seals and sea lions) decreases, which makes it significantly easier for sharks to prey on pinnipeds. The rising water temperature also impacts pinnipeds because it is harder for them to capture prey, like fish, to survive, which can lead to ecosystem collapse.
When I began my project, I decided to try carving the seal out of two bars of soap taped together on the ends so the final product would be taller and thicker. This turned out to be an obstacle because as I tried to mimic the shape of a seal, the top bar of soap thinned out very quickly and eventually broke off. This was well into the project, so I turned the bottom bar of soap on it’s side and transformed it into the best seal I could have in it’s current condition. Another difficult part of my project was copying the thickness of a seal. The piece of soap I had left was quite lopsided and both sides were lean, so I carved the seal rounder to aid the appearance of it being larger.
For future projects, I need to plan in depth before beginning the process and I should always have a next step before rushing into things and attempting something that may not work out to the best of my ability. Ultimately, I was proud of what I had accomplished and how I executed representing pinnipeds and the consequences they experience in rising water temperatures.