Observation of a Living Frog
Procedure: Working in groups
of 4, teams will observe the behaviors of a live frog. Find the answers to all
questions, and report on a separate piece of paper. For each number, include
the question you are answering on your paper (the heading). The bulleted lists
are there to help you answer the question entirely. Make sure you are thorough.
Materials: One grass frog,
small terrarium, crickets or mealworms, ice packs, flashlights.
Frog Handling: When handling
the frog be careful not to allow the frog to slip from your grasp and injure
itself by jumping onto the floor or the table. A wet paper towel can be used
to gently hold the frog.
1. How Does a Frog Hang Out?
- Observe the frog in the
terrarium and determine its most comfortable position. Sketch the frog as
it rests (be sure to focus on the position of its legs)
- What features of an adult
frog show evidence that this animal has both an aquatic and terrestrial lifestyle?
2. How Are the Frog's Eyes
- Observe the frog's eyes
and describe them. Pay attention to the position of they eyes compared to
the rest of the body. Do they have an eyelid?
- Gently blow on the frog's
eyes and describe what happens.
- The nictitating membrane
is a clear membrane that covers the eyelid. Is the nictitating membrane always
visible? Where does it attach (to the bottom or top of eye)?
- Use a penlight to shine
into the frog's eye. Does the pupil dilate? Compare the frog's reaction to
light shining in the eye to a human eye's reaction. (Use someone in your group
as a guinea pig but do not shine the light for long periods of time into the
human or the frog's eye)
- Explain how the frog's
eye is adapted to the frog's lifestyle.
3. Can the Frog Orientate
- Gently tilt the terrarium
back and forth into various orientations and describe how the frog responds.
- Try spinning the terrarium
in slow circle, does the frog seem to want to face one direction?
- Would you hypothesize
that amphibians possess an organ of balance in their inner ear as humans do?
4. Do Frogs Talk and if
they Could, What Would They Talk About?
- Often, if you hold a
frog and rub its sides it will croak. See if you can get your frog to talk
by doing this.
- What are some reasons
that frogs croak in the wild?
5. How Does a Frog Breathe?
- Observe the frog as it
rests, notice that its throat moves up and down. This is how a frog pulls
oxygen into its lungs.
- Compare a frog's breathing
rate at room temperature to its breathing rate in colder temperatures. Use
an ice pack to lower the frog's temperature. Create a data table and write
6. How Does a Frog Swim?
- Take your frog to one
of the swimming tanks and gently release it into the water.
- Describe how the frog
swims. Which legs propel the frog? Does the frog swim in a side to side motion
like a fish?
- Do not leave your frog
in the swimming tank for very long. Remove your frog and return it to the
7. How Does a Frog Eat?
- Place a cricket or mealworm
into the terrarium with your frog.
- Observe the frog and
describe how it responds. Does the frog chew or swallow its prey whole?
- If your frog does not
eat within a few minutes, remove the food. If your frog didn't eat, propose
a reason why your frog was being contrary.
8. Can You Hypnotize Your
- A frog can be placed
in a "hypnotic" state. Lay the frog on its back and hold it firmly
in your hands until it stops moving. Slowly open your hand, the frog will
remain motionless and on its back.
- Try to place your frog
in a hypnotic state. Suggest reasons that this behavior exists. What advantage
might it be to the frog?
9. How Far Can a Frog Jump?
- Some communities hold
frog jumping contests. Frogs are excellent jumpers. Place your frog on the
floor and use a meter stick to measure how far the frog can jump in a single
leap. Be careful not to lose your frog!
- Compare your frog's distance
to other frogs and construct a table with data from at least 5 other frogs.
- Are some frogs better
jumpers than others?
10. What's Up With a Frog's
- Describe the texture
of the frog's skin.
- Describe the coloration
of the frog. Are all frogs the exact same, do they follow a pattern of coloration.
Is countershading exhibited in frogs?
- Explain how the coloration
of the frog helps it survive.