In this lab, "How Ectotherms Adapt to Their Environment" students will explore an adaptation in lizards that helps them control their body temperature. The biomes of the world include many different kinds of animals living in many different types of environments. The animals in a particular biome must possess adaptations to ensure their survival in a particular environment. One important adaptation is the ability to deal with changes in environmental temperatures. In this investigation, students will explore how the skin color of reptiles aids them in their ability to be well suited for their environment.
Purpose of the Lab:
• To determine which color, black or white, absorbs more light and heats up faster.
• To learn about a lizard color change adaptation.
• To predict how skin color change can be a helpful adaptation.
• 2 large test tubes (25 x 200)
• Black construction paper
• Masking tape
• White construction paper
• Metric Ruler
• Lab lamp
• Test tube rack
• Graduated cylinder
What will the students be doing?
This is a very simple lab activity that demonstrates how the skin color changes in basking lizards makes them well suited for their environment. In this lab, students will cover two large test tubes with either black paper or white paper. Water will be placed in each tube. The temperature will be monitored over a period of time to see the effect of an external light source on the temperature of the water.
Students will compile class data, average the class data, and then plot the data on a graph. This lab has a very good set of follow up questions to help students understand the differences between endothermic and ectothermic animals.
Lab handouts include: Title, Introduction, Purpose, Materials, Safety Precautions, Procedure, Graphing grids, Observation Questions, and Data Tables. You can chose to have your students write their own lab reports or you can have them use the included Student Data Sheets on which they can record their data and answer the questions.
I have also included a Teacher Preparation Page. This will include pre-lab discussion, answers to all questions, and post lab follow up ideas.
You will receive both an editable Word document as well as a pdf form of the lab.
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