Materials

■ live frog in a terrarium

■ aquarium half-filled with dechlorinated water

■ live insects (crickets or mealworms)

Background

1. What does amphibious mean?

2. Describe how amphibians live part of their life on land and part in water.

3. What are some major characteristics of amphibians?

1. Observe a live frog in a terrarium. Closely examine the external features of the frog. Make a drawing of the frog in your lab report. Label the eyes, nostrils, tympanic membranes, front legs, and hind legs. The tympanic membrane, or eardrum, is a disc-like membrane behind each eye.

2. In your lab report, make a table similar to the one on the facing page to note all your observations of the frog in this investigation.

3. Watch the frog's movements as it breathes. Record your observations in your data table.

4. Look closely at the frog's eyes, and note their location. Examine the upper and lower eyelids as well as a third transparent eyelid called a nictitating membrane. The upper and lower eyelids do not move. The nictitating membrane moves upward over the eye. This eyelid protects the eye when the frog is underwater and keeps the eye moist when the frog is on land.

5. Study the frog's legs. Note in your data table the difference between the front and hind legs.

6. Place a live insect, such as a cricket or a mealworm, in the terrarium. Observe how the frog reacts.

7. Gently tap the side of the terrarium farthest from the frog, and observe the frog's response.

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