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Tropical Vertebrate Biology: Reptiles and Amphibians. Background, introduction and discussion starters. Goals. Use independent research projects to study aspects of the biology of tropical reptiles/amphibians

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tropical vertebrate biology reptiles and amphibians

Tropical Vertebrate Biology: Reptiles and Amphibians

Background, introduction and discussion starters

  • Use independent research projects to study aspects of the biology of tropical reptiles/amphibians
    • Learn and practice scientific inquiry by conceiving, designing, implementing and reporting the results of an independent study
  • Discover basic principles of the biology of reptiles/amphibians that can be applied in any context (even Ohio!)
my research interests
My research interests
  • Physiological ecology and life history variation in fence lizards
    • Life span and reproductive characteristics
      • Effects of environment and genetics
      • Phenotypic modification
    • Locomotor physiology
      • What factors affect speed and endurance in lizards
    • Population biology
      • Competition and predation
    • Behavior
      • Territoriality
      • Home range size
  • Population biology and ecology of Salamanders
how do we get started
How do we get started?
  • Introduction to the critters
    • Reptiles
    • Amphibians
  • Some activities
    • What do you already know about the biology of amphibians and reptiles?
    • What is known about the herps of San Salvador (~Bahamas)?
    • What are you interested in finding out about the herps of San Salvador?
  • Lizards
    • Northern Curly-tailed Lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus)
    • Anoles
      • Bark (Anolis distichus)
      • Brown (Anolis sagrei)
    • Iguanine (Cyclura rileyi)
    • Gecko (Sphaerodactylus corticola)
  • Snakes
    • Blind (Leptotyphlops, Typhlops)
    • Brown racer (Alsophus vudii)
    • Bahamas Boa (Epicrates striatus)
  • Greenhouse frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris)
  • Cuban treefrog (Osteopilusseptentrionalis)
what do you already know
What do you already know?
  • On a sheet of paper, list 3 general facts you know about amphibians or reptiles (5 min.)
  • Gather into two equally-sized groups (10 min.)
    • Combine individual lists of facts into a single list with no repeats (compile unique list)
    • Discuss if you can extend the list of unique items (i.e., jog one-another’s memory)

Report out (5 min.)

  • Back in your large groups, for each fact, make a simple prediction that follows from the fact (15 min.)
    • e.g., “some lizards can change from green to brown very rapidly (green anoles). I expect that if lizards change color for crypsis, then lizards observed on brown substrates are more likely to be brown than green and vice versa.”
what is known about bahamian herps
What is known about Bahamian herps
  • In groups of two, do some searches using the species list (20 min.)
    • Web….e.g., google, dogpile, etc
    • ISI web of science
  • Use your searches to report back on something about the biology of one critters (or a related critter) (10 min)
prepare for monday s session brainstorming project ideas
Prepare for Monday’s session: Brainstorming project ideas
  • Given what we have discovered about herps today (or from previous information)
    • Individually list three things you would be interested in studying (be as specific as you can), and be able to explain why your interested (10 minutes)
    • In pairs, explain your list to a partner