MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: how fast does a dwarf african frog swim?

Date: Thu Oct 12 14:56:53 2000
Posted By: Irene Yan, Post-doc/Fellow, Vertebrate Embryology, Rockefeller University
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 969810423.Gb

I couldn’t really find a specific answer for the speed of Dwarf African 
frogs (Hymenochirus boettgeri), but if you have a frog, there are some 
established scientific procedures to measure its swimming speed.  
	You’ll need:
	A 40” x 4”x 3” (length x width x depth)
	A ruler
	A chronometer
	A fine wire
	A Dwarf African Frog
	A notepad and a pen

	Mark lines crosswise at the bottom of the trough so that you can 
see them clearly through water. Space the lines at 5”intervals
	Fill the trough with water up to approximately 2”
	Allow the water to sit overnight so that the chlorine in it 
evaporates and also so that it will equilibrate it to room temperature.
	Carefully place the frog in the trough and wait until it is 
settled and calm.
	Gently poke it with the fine wire so that is swims across the 
trough LENGTHWISE.  Be careful not to hurt it, and don’t let it jump out 
of the water.
	Start the chronometer when its head crosses one marking and stop 
it when the head crosses the marking 10” away from that one (after it 
crosses two more markings). Write down the value of the chronometer. The 
time in the chronometer would be its speed to cross 10”.  
	You’ll need to repeat this various times so that you can get an 
accurate idea of its average speed.  You will need to average out the 
values you have.  So, say you measure its speed 10 times, sum up all the 
ten time values that you have, and divide them by ten. That is your 
average time for 10”.  However, if you need to know its speed PER SECOND, 
what you’ll have to do is to divide 10 by your average value.  For 
example, lets say that your average 10” swimming speed is 4 seconds:
	Average time = 4 seconds
	Distance = 10”
	Average speed PER SECOND= 10”/ 4 = 2.5”/ 1 second or 2.5 inches 
per second.

	The more measurements you make, the more accurate will your 
average speed be.  Just be careful to not tire out the frog.  You might 
want to take measurements at different days to even out any daily 
discrepancies there might be.  If you want to know the FASTEST speed a 
dwarf frog can swim, just take the lowest time value that you have from 
all your measurements.  Again, the more measurements you make, the more 
accurate that value.
	This is how we scientists formulate our experiments to answer 
questions that have no known answer.  After you have done this little set 
of experiments, you will actually know something that we all don’t.  I 
suggest that you share your knowledge with other African Dwarf frogs 
owners on the Dwarf Frog website (http://dwarf- Make sure you describe how you did the 
measurements.  Good luck and I hope this was helpful

Current Queue | Current Queue for General Biology | General Biology archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on General Biology.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2000. All rights reserved.