Ecological Niches: Choose the right Kuppelfang to bring to Earth!

 Ecological niches
Time to complete course: 71 min.

Try our lab safety simulation

Discover one of 200+ learning simulations available today

About Ecological Niches: Choose the right Kuppelfang to bring to Earth! Virtual Lab Simulation

What if you could have your own cute little alien to pet? How would you know the requirements to keep it alive? In this simulation, you will learn to identify the fundamental niche of any species using Kuppelfangs as an example. This rock-digesting species from Astakos IV couldn’t survive when it was transplanted to a biodome on Earth. You will perform different experiments to understand what caused Kuppelfangs to die in the biodome and ultimately suggest a solution that will enable the species to survive on Earth.

Explore Astakos IV to collect data on a Kuppelfang’s fundamental niche

You will visit the three main regions where Kuppelfangs live on Astakos IV and collect soil samples that will provide information about their realized ecological niche. You will analyze three main variables that affect the survival of Kuppelfangs: temperature, soil pH and soil silicon concentration.

Learn to use n-dimensional hypervolumes and design your own experimental setup

After your field trip, you will measure the pH of the soil samples and determine its silicon concentration using HPLC. You will then plot and visualize your results in a 3-dimensional graph in order to compare the Kuppelfangs’ fundamental and realized niches with the niche found inside Earth’s biodome. After discovering the fundamental niche of Kuppelfangs, you will design an experiment using the three variables you have already measured and let baby Kuppelfangs grow in a greenhouse for one year. Following this step, the simulation will fast forward time so that you can see whether the Kuppelfangs survived in each environment. You will then take some individuals to the lab so that you can measure how certain physical features are related to specific environmental conditions.

Decide the best conditions for the Kuppelfangs’ survival on Earth

At the end of the experiment, you will determine how acclimation can expand and affect the boundaries of a niche. Will you be able to determine why the first Kuppelfangs sent to Earth’s biodome died? Can knowledge of their fundamental niche help you to develop a solution to ensure the Kuppelfangs’ survival in Earth’s biodome?

Get Started Now

Investigate why the Kuppelfangs died when transplanted to the new Astakos IV biodome on Earth. Quantify their realized and fundamental niche, and explore how acclimation affects the boundaries of a niche.

Techniques in Lab

  • Field sampling
  • Biometrics
  • HPLC
  • Data analysis of n-dimensional hypervolumes

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Quantify a species realized niche
  • Set up an experiment to compare the effect of simple variables on a species niche
  • Experimentally determine a species fundamental niche
  • Visualize niches using an n-dimensional hypervolume
  • Measure the extent to which acclimation expands a species’ niche
  • Determine how trade-offs affect the boundaries of a niche

Simulation Features

Length – 71 minutes
Languages – English, Spanish

Examples of Related Standards


Ecology related 1st year onwards


C.1 Species and communities

Screenshots of Ecological Niches: Choose the right Kuppelfang to bring to Earth! Virtual Lab Simulation


Dr. Michael Angilletta

School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University

How it works

A million dollar lab in your browser

Perform experiments in virtual lab simulations to achieve core science learning outcomes. 

All our simulations run on laptop and desktop computers, and you can play our simulations without having to install any browser plugins.

See detailed minimum requirements here.

Hundreds of hours of science learning content

Our virtual laboratory simulations are aimed at university, college and high school level, within fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, physics and more.

With access to our simulations, you will have hundreds of hours of engaging, high-quality learning content available to you.

Discover more Virtual Lab Simulations

We currently have 218 simulations that cover everything from biology and medicine to physics and chemistry.

Learn how you can use Labster in your science course

Take a 15 Minute “Lab Break” with a Virtual Lab Expert

Talk to one of our Virtual Lab Experts about how Labster can engage your students with our virtual labs for online, hybrid and face-to-face courses.

Lab break coffee with us

Please fill out the form below to talk with one of our Lab Experts. 

You must opt in to receive emails from Labster. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Thank you for your submission!

Sales Demo: Discover how Labster
improves student grades and learning outcomes!

Limited to 100 people

The simulation is already added to this package

Step 1: Choose your simulations

Find and select the simulations that you want to add to your course.

Step 2: Review simulation list

This is the list of simulations that will be added to your course. Click Download once you are ready.

Press the + button next to the simulations that you want to add to your list, or add all the simulations of this package by pressing “add all simulations”.


Related Simulations

No simulations added yet.
    Download the .zip file and upload it to your LMS.

    Download Common Cartridge File

    Choose your Learning Management System below:
    Generating download link. Please wait...
    Congratulations! You can now upload the .zip file into your LMS by the following these instructions:

    Simulation name

    Image container

    Learning Outcomes

    Learning outcomes container


    Techniques container

    Simulation Description

    Description container

    Are you sure you want to delete?

    Package deleted successfully

    IMPORTANT: Check the original email with instructions from your instructor to verify how you should gain access.

    Labster Website

    Did you receive a link or email invitation to access Labster via the Labster website? You will be using Labster Direct (URL) or our Course Manager login. Check with your instructor or read more below.

    School LMS

    Are you accessing Labster from your school’s LMS, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle or Brightspace? Click below to read more. 

    IMPORTANT: Please check your original email to confirm the correct access option.

    Labster Website

    Are you accessing Labster through Labster Direct or the new Course Manager account login? Learn more below.

    Your LMS

    Are you accessing Labster from your school’s LMS, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle or Brightspace? Click below to read more.

    Faculty Resources

    To access the Faculty Resources page (instructors only) and review Labster simulations, please log in below.