Questions for “A bubble of air lets some lizards breathe underwater”

The bubble of air around its snout lets this lizard in Costa Rica breathe underwater. One champion lizard was able to stay underwater for 18 minutes!

Lindsey Swierk

To accompany “A bubble of air lets some lizards breathe underwater


Before Reading:

1.  Animals need oxygen to breathe. How do those who live in the water get their oxygen?

2.  How do land animals that get their oxygen from the atmosphere survive when they go underwater for long periods?

During Reading:

1.  What odd feature about Anolis lizards did Luke Mahler notice while during field work in Haiti during 2009?

2.  What inspired Chris Boccia to begin studying these lizards, and where did he conduct his first field work on them?

3.  Where do the lizards’ bubbles seem to come from? What does Boccia think keeps those bubbles from floating away to the surface?

4.  Why does Boccia think the lizards close their eyes when they go into bubble-breathing mode?

5.  What did Boccia find when he monitored the lizards’ bubbles with a sensor?

6.  Describe two or more reasons the bubbles may help the lizards, based on what you read.

After Reading:

1.  The researchers observed somewhat different bubble-breathing behaviors among Anolis lizards that had been caught near streams versus those far from streams. Why do you think that in the lab, the lizards from farther away did not bubble-breathe as regularly as did those who had been caught near streams?