Frogs Hitch Ride on Water Buffalo (Phenomenon)

Contributor
National Geographic Photograph by Nizamettin Yavuz Article by Mary Bates
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Animation/Movie , Article , Image/Image Set , Phenomenon
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

The National Geographic photos, article, and video of a newly observed phenomenon of frogs hitching a ride on the backs of water buffalo can be used to begin the discussion on relationships of different species. Since little is understood at this time of the specific symbiosis involved, it provides an excellent point of discussion about organisms interactions in the environment.

This phenomenon could stimulate the following driving questions:

  1. Is this relationship beneficial for either species?

  2. Is this relationship harmful to either species?

  3. What could be some benefits/detriments?

  4. Why do the water buffalo tolerate the frogs?

  5. Predict what would happen to either species if the other one was decreased in numbers. What evidence is needed to answer this question?

Additional information can be found at:  

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6VHjgIhrg8

Original Research Article: http://www.fupress.net/index.php/ah/article/download/20574/19252

Article: https://www.livescience.com/60097-water-buffaloes-covered-with-tiny-frogs.html

Intended Audience

Learner
Educational Level
  • Middle School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on predicting consistent patterns of interactions in different ecosystems in terms of the relationships among and between organisms and abiotic components of ecosystems. Examples of types of interactions could include competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This images and article could be used to help students make sense of the interdependent relationships between species. Observations of these interactions will open up discussions on how relationships show both similarities and differences across ecosystems. This image/article could be used in the beginning, middle or end of a unit to elicit and/or assess student knowledge and application of symbiotic relationships.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Similarly to Page Keeley’s formative assessment probes, this can be used to begin the conversation of the interactions of different species in an ecosystem by asking what relationships are observed and how they affect each species based on evidence. Later this can continue the questioning about other relationships and how they may impact the environment. As students read the articles, they can highlight/underline evidence scientists use to understand their mutualistic relationship.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource was not designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
To build towards this core idea, the images and article can guide the questioning to the implications of how interdependent relationships can be necessary for survival. It can also guide students to investigate other symbiotic relationships as part of a Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning (CER) activity.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
As students observe this phenomenon they can be encouraged to look for patterns of interdependency over multiple ecosystems. This phenomenon can lead to the other forms of interdependent relationships including, parasitism, commensalism, predation, and competition.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: - none -

  • Instructional Supports: - none -

  • Monitoring Student Progress: - none -

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -