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How do you tell the difference between a
reptile and an amphibian? To help your
young children understand the similarities
and differences between reptiles and
amphibians, make a chart. For older
elementary and junior high kids, let them
create charts listing differences between
different kinds of reptiles or amphibians
(e.g., how is a frog different from a
Since reptiles and amphibians can be hard
to observe in the wild, take a field trip to a
zoo or pet store. You might call ahead to
see if your kids will be allowed to handle
any of the animals. Before you go, ask
younger kids what they think a snake feels
like. What about a frog? A turtle? Will a frog
or a snake feel more ‘slimy’? After the visit,
discuss the experience. Encourage older
kids to investigate feeding habits, make
sketches, observe how the animal moves,
If you are handling frogs in the wild, be
sure that you have wet hands or hold the
animal with a plastic bag. Your bare hands
can quickly cause the frog’s skin to dry out.
After touching any amphibian or reptile, be
sure to wash your hands well with soap
and water!
To find out more about frogs, do research
on one of these topics: what kinds of frogs
live in your area? Can you find more than
one species of tadpole locally? If so,
compare them. What do local frogs eat?
How would the mosquito population be
affected if there were few or no frogs in a
swampy region? Pick a frog or frog
characteristic that is interesting to you, and
see what you can find out about it. Look for
close-up frog pictures in a magazine like

Comparing Frogs & Snakes

To see for yourself how an amphibian and
reptile differ, examine the external anatomy
of two species such as a frog and a snake.
You can observe the external anatomy of
live ones at a pet store. Or do an online
image search: try ‘bufo’ (part of the
scientific name for some frog species),
‘bullfrog,’ ‘poison dart frog,’ ‘tree frog,’
‘garter snake,’ ‘elipidae’ (the main family of
poisonous snakes), ‘colubridae’ (the family
with common snakes), and
‘boidae’ (constrictors).
This is just an overview of some features of
frogs and snakes – there’s a lot more to
learn about them!
Snakes have a tough coating of scales made
of keratin, the same protein that forms your
hair and fingernails. Each species either has
smooth scales or rougher keeled ones, with
a unique pattern of scales and coloring.
They also have long horizontal scales on
their belly that help them move across
surfaces. Both frogs and snakes (as well as
other reptiles) molt, or shed their skin.
Frogs change their skin about once a week!
Although all reptiles shed their skin as they
grow, snakes lose their skin in a whole
piece rather than pieces flaking off.
Frog tongues are broad and specially
attached so they can be thrust out and
catch insects. Snake tongues are narrow
and forked, to ‘taste’ chemical particles in
the air.
Have you ever wondered how frogs
breathe? When under water, frogs get their
oxygen from water that passes through
their skin. Capillaries take the oxygen from
the skin into the bloodstream. On land,
frogs usually get oxygen by taking air
through their throats into saclike lungs.

Learn more: https://learning-center.homesciencetools...ce-lesson/

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