Sometimes, scientific inquiry is like trying to solve a mystery. A scientist or even an ordinary citizen might discover a problem, and scientists use the process of scientific inquiry to find the solution. In The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery, author Sandra Markle tells the true story of how biologist Dr. Karen Lips discovers that golden frogs are vanishing and works tirelessly to solve the mystery, using the help of researchers in other scientific fields.
In this brief exploration, students will view a slide show and watch a couple of videos to learn about the Panamanian golden frogs and frogs in general. This teacher sheet provides you with anwers to the questions.
Based on this video, what did biologist Karen Lips notice that led her to believe there was a problem with the frogs?
The forest was quiet, with no chorus of frog songs like on earlier visits.
Amphibian Avenger: Smithsonian Scientist Brian Gratwicke
What is Dr. Brian Gratwicke’s profession?
He is an amphibian conservation biologist.
What percentage of known amphibian species are we losing worldwide?
We are losing approximately 40% of known amphibian species worldwide.
What is the main focus of Dr. Gratwicke’s job?
It is to stop amphibian extinctions.
Why do Dr. Gratwicke and his colleagues bring wild frogs into a study facility?
They do this because the frogs will likely not survive in the wild.
What are the four main threats to amphibians worldwide?
The threats include habitat loss, climate change, pollution, and invasive pathogens.
What happens when the chytrid fungus makes its way into the frog populations in the mountainous regions of Central America?
The fungus destroys 50% of frog species and 90% of individual frogs.
What are some reasons that frogs are important to humans?
They provide possible drugs important to our health and eat insects that are damaging to our health.
Where did Dr. Gratwicke grow up?
He grew up in Zimbabwe.
What idea transformed his thinking?
It was that we can overlay our own human value system with scientific principles to help us objectively answer important questions that guide our actions to save species.