### 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
Message:
```
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

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-
frog.education.webjump.com/). Make sure you describe how you did the
measurements.  Good luck and I hope this was helpful

```

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