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OBSERVING FROGS BREATHE

How do frogs breathe? Do they have gills? Lungs? Do they breathe with their noses? Their mouths? Can they live under water without coming up for air?

Look at the frog in our terrarium. See his nostril vents near his nose? (Actually, frog's noses are called "snouts.") Now look at his throat. See how it goes up and down? It acts sort of as a pump. The frog takes in air, and the floor of his mouth raises and lowers, causing the pumping effect.

Frogs also absorb some oxygen through their skin. That means that he doesn't have to breathe quite as much as he would if he didn't absorb through his skin.

Count the number of times in one minute that the frog's throat "pumps." Now, your teacher will hold the frog tightly by one hind leg, and put him under water for one minute, in a jar. Look at its nostril vents. Are they open, or did he close them? Watch its throat. Does it move? Is he breathing? What would happen if he did? Only one minute in the water, then out, because if he were left in too long, he would drown.

The frog in our terrarium is not the same kind of frog as the one we have in our aquarium, is it? The tiny African frog in our aquarium is an amphibian. That means it can live under water or on land. Matter of fact, one escaped from my aquarium at home, and hopped all the way into the kitchen, a distance of about 30 feet, before I was able to catch him. He was breathing air just fine. Put him back into the water, and he swam down to the floor of the aquarium and he stayed there all evening.

 
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