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Estimating the Number of Worms

Biology: Some types of worms have a remarkable ability to live without moisture. The following table from one study shows the number of worms W surviving after x days without moisture.

x (days) 0 20 40 80 120 160
W (worms) 50 48 45 36 20 3

(a) Use the equation W= -0.0014x^2 - 0.076x + 50 to find W for each x-value in the table.

(b) Discuss how well this equation approximates the data.

(c) Use this equation to estimate the number of worms on day 60 and on day 180. Which answer is most accurate? Explain.

Solution Preview

(a) Using the equation W= -0.0014x^2 - 0.076x + 50, we obtain the following values for W

x (days) 0 20 40 80 120 160
W (worms) 50 47.92 44.72 34.96 20.72 2

So if we round W to the nearest integer, we get

x (days) 0 20 40 80 ...

Solution Summary

This tutorial illustrates how to estimate for the number of worms on day 60 and on day 180. All calculations are included in a step by step fashion.

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