Arizona Game and Fish Department: Focus Wild Arizona - Wildlife Science @ Home: Ectotherms

Reptiles and other ectothermic animals cannot use food to control their body temperatures.

If a lizard is cold, it needs to move to a warmer location. This is often on a rock in the sun. But how much can the sun affect a lizard’s body temperature? Does it matter if the lizard lies on a rock on the grass if they are both in the sun?

These are good questions to answer with a science experiment. Since we don’t want to harm animals (or ourselves) in the experiment, you are going to do a simulation. You will pretend that containers of water are lizards (this actually isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds). A lizard’s body weight is nearly 70% water! You will place three water containers at different locations around the outside of your house and compare the temperature change from morning to afternoon.

Wildlife Science @ Home: These short activities using common household materials allow students to carry out wildlife-related science experiments and projects at their home. Each activity includes a two page instruction document for the student and one page of teaching tips to help the parent or educator guide the student successfully through the activity.


Science Topics
Zoology
Animals
Reptiles, Lizards
K-6, Middle School
4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade
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