Subject : Biological variation in pets - hair coat

Activities for Key Stage 3/4

CLICK HERE for the background information to support these activities

1. Conduct a study into the variation of coat types and coat colours in a population of pets.

Selection of Population to study

This can be a study involving :


Factors which may influence coat type, colour and appearance, and which should be recorded, are :

For each animal in the study the following are recorded :

If additional animal information is available for the study :


Analysis of the results

Simple statistical analysis of the results will allow the students to :

  1. Appreciate the wide natural variation of coat types and colours in different species of pets

  2. Appreciate the restricted range of variation of coat types and colours in some species, breeds, or families

  3. Determine which variations in coat type are prevalent in which species, breeds, families

  4. Determine which  changes in coat type or colour occur with ageing eg greying.

  5. Determine which  variations in colour distribution are typical for different species, breeds, families

  6. Determine whether nutrition has any influence on coat type or colour

  7. Determine whether sex has any influence on coat type or colour

If  coat colour records are available for families of pets they can be entered into a diagrammatic family tree, and can be examined for evidence of a mendelian inheritance pattern.