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Posted by Esther on November 20, 2000 at 05:54:58:
In Reply to: reptile teaching resources posted by Ron on November 16, 2000 at 16:21:33:
I teach high school zoology in NYC. I maintain 2 terraria of lizards, representing 2 different biomes, and an aquarium of SA fish as well. I have the Arizona Desert Exhibit, with some native SW desert lizards (tree lizards, Western Fence, Eastern Fence, utas), a European Scrublands tank with European lacerta species, and S. American cichlids and tetras in the aquarium. I found a nice elementary book on eBay about reps, Nature's Wild reptiles for $2. Keep your eye on eBay, they often sell this. I also wrote an experiment using live green anoles (on lend from a local pet shop for this activity) which had various cooperative groups with an individual live anole in a Laffy Taffy clear box, with holes in the lid. The anoles were either kept under a box for a specified number of minutes, and then their color checked, then put under a study lamp and their color change watched and recorded, then put over ice trays, their color change noted and timed, and then shown a rival male, their color change noted and timed. The kids really enjoyed this activity. I also pass around small lizards in plastic terraria, and allow selected (trusted!) students to touch the lizards as I hold them. Of course, due to salmonella risks, everyone washes up afterwards. If you want to teach about evolution, look to the extreme evolution of Caribbean anole species. Each island has its characteristic species. There are also convergent anole species occupying certain ecological niches, different species fulfilling the given niches on different islands. You could devise a board game about this, or about the food webs reptiles find themselves in. Of course, there are various excellent videos available, too. I highly recommend Eyewitness "Reptile" and the Nightmares of Nature video about reptiles (I think they have several "nightmares" available). The kids really liked both of those videos. They also enjoyed watching the anoles consume some crickets.
Hope this helps.