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.


Zoology
Reptiles, Lizards
K-6, Middle School

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Download activity.