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The Deadly Frogs of Manu

Objectives of the Lesson
Background Information
Materials Needed
Procedure
Evaluation/Alternative Assessment
Web Resources


Objectives of the Lesson:

Students will:

  1. Research and learn about the poison frogs of Manu.
  2. Download template models of the frogs of Manu and accurately color the specimens.
  3. Construct a poster with the different deadly frogs of Manu and/or other Dart Poison Frogs of the Amazon.
  4. Utilize the world wide web for research on other species of Dart-Poison Frogs.

Background Information:

There are some very dangerous frogs in the Amazon. There are some documented accounts of travelers touching some species of the Dart-Poison Frog and going blind and even death. In the natural environment, some Dart -Poison Frogs eat ants and develop the toxin dangerous to man from their diet. The Formic Acid in ants has a toxicity impact on the frog's poison. Most of the very dangerous Dart -Poison frogs do not live in Manu, but in other parts of the Amazon and in Central America. For optional research at the secondary level, students might want to research the more dangerous frogs. They are Phyllobates bicolor and Phylobates terribilis.

There are several species of Dendrobates that are also considered Dart-Poison Frogs and are very dangerous to the touch. These frogs are very colorful and use these colors as warning signs for preditors. Also, there are many non-poisonous frogs that mimic the colors of the dangerous ones for protection. (Interview, Harry Ward, Associate Curator of Reptiles, Detroit Zoological Society, Royal Oak, Michigan, October 17, 1997.)

There are many species of Dart-Poison Frogs in Peru. I have chosen the following for location either near by or in Manu itself. In my research, I have chosen the Manu Poison Frog, (Epipedobates macera), Peruvian Poison Frog, (Epipedobates petersi), Spot-Legged Poison Frog, (Epipedobates pictus) Silverstones Poison Frog, (Epipedobates silverstonei), Brilliant-Thighed Poison Frog, ( Epipedobates femoralis), Three Striped Poison Frog, Epipedobates trivitttatus), Sira Poison Frog, (Dendrobates sirensis), Biolat Poison Frog, (Dendrobates biolat), and the Mimic Poison Frog, (Dendrobates imitator). (Walls, Jerry G. Jewels of the Rainforest, Poison Frogs of the Family Dendrobatidae, TFH Publications, 1994, Neptune City, N.J., pages 174, 197,212,229,239,236 and 234.)

Materials Needed:

  • A copy of the PBS program, The Living Edens: "Manu, Peru's Hidden Rain Forest" (If you missed The Living Edens "Manu" program that aired on November 12, 1997 you can order the video)
  • Downloaded templates of the Manu frogs with color guide: Template 1, Template 2, Template 3, and Template 4. (All data on color and size from: Walls, Jerry G. , Jewels of the Rainforest, Poison Frogs of the Family Dendrobatidae, TFH Publications, 1994, Neptune City, N.J.)
  • Paper /Pencil for research data
  • Colored pencils, markers, crayons or school paint
  • One sheet of poster board, size optional, for each student
  • Scissors
  • School glue
  • Lettering stencil (optional for neatness)
  • Student science journals

Procedure:

  1. Class will view the PBS program, The Living Edens: "Manu, Peru's Hidden Rain Forest" (If you missed The Living Edens "Manu" program that aired on November 12, 1997 you can order the video).
  2. Students will research poison frogs on the world wide web, from books in the library and from magazines. They will collect data on on the frogs of the Amazon and specifically those of Manu. There are several web sites with photos of the Dart Poison Frogs. Record all research in student science journals.
  3. Students will each receive a full set of frog model templates with a color guide, which they will color. Download frog templates here: Template 1, Template 2, Template 3, and Template 4. Not all frogs need to be used by all students. Also, students may research other frogs and add them to the poster.
  4. Students will cut out frogs templates and glue them on the poster board.
  5. Lettering for the species and any background information can be done on a separate sheet, cut out and attached with glue on the poster next to the frog.
  6. Students will complete poster and present it to the class.

Evaluation/Alternative Assessment:

Students can discuss the different frog species found on the poster. Students can make up stories about the environment in which the frogs live and tell those stories to the class. Also, a more technical approach can be to learn the scientific names of the species. Posters can be placed around the school for other students to see.

Elementary Extension:

Younger students are caught by the brillant colors of the Dart-Poison frogs. The color keys for the different species are included on the frog templates. There is a special web site which has a story about a Dart-Poison Frog at: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cerc/WildOnes/SFC/ENV/pafPOV1.html

High School Extension:

Students in secondary grades may research the many species of Dart-Poison Frogs ( Dendrobates and Phyllobates). They might also research the frogs in the Hylid family as these are often the mimics of the deadly frogs of Manu. There are many interesting areas of investigation regarding the decreasing numbers of frogs world wide.

Web Resources:

http://tony.bb-elec.com/

http://www.library.wisc.edu/guides/Biology/demo/frog2/welcome.html

http://www.teleport.com/~dstroy/info/international/internt.html

http://tony.bb-elec.com/frogs/Pterribilis.asp

http://www.bayside.net/users/czar/dendrobate.html

http://www.thphy.uni-duesseldorf.de/~mueller/Seiten/Zoo.html

http://www.encarta.eng.msn.com/schoolhouse/rainfrst/treefrog.asp

http://www.jaglair.com/rain/rffrog.htm

http://www.lam.mus.ca.us/lacmnh/departments/research/herpetology/herpimages/anuraa2z.shtml

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cerc/WildOnes/SFC/ENV/pafFamous.html

http://www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cerc/WildOnes/SFC/ENV/pafAntics.html

   
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