Tadpole Lab

Tadpoles of Xenopus laevis, a model organism native to South Africa

Tadpole Ethogram:

3 tadpoles in a small container with no food or waste material in it-

Resting: movement stops, no observable movement

Swimming: lifts tail and uses it to move around the environment

Bumping: While swimming, seemingly frantically, one tadpole while swim into another tadpole which then begins to swim quickly away

Breathing: Opening and closing mouth, staying still while doing this.

Instantaneous Scan Sampling with above parameters: 15 seconds between sampling

Resting occurs against a wall unless specified*

  1. 2 resting 1 swimming in circle
  2. 2 resting 1 swimming into a wall
  3. 3 resting
  4. 3 resting
  5. 3 resting
  6. 3 resting
  7. 3 resting
  8. 2 resting one swimming into a wall
  9. 3 resting
  10. 1 swimming across environment, 1 bumping, 1 reacting to bump
  11. 2 resting 1 resting in the middle
  12. 1 resting in the middle 2 swimming into a wall

Scan sampling of the same 3 tadpoles as above in the same environment, with a video:

-Tadpoles identified as 1, 2, and 3

-Resting if not specified is on its ventral surface

15 secs:

  1. Slowly swimming against the wall
  2. Resting on a wall
  3. Resting on its side in the middle

30 secs:

  1. Resting, but tail is moving
  2. Resting on a wall
  3. Resting sideways in the meddle

45 secs:

  1. Resting, tail moving
  2. Resting on a wall
  3. Resting sideways in the middle

60 secs:

  1. Resting on a wall
  2. Resting on a wall
  3. Resting sideways in the middle

75 secs:

  1. Resting on a wall next to 2
  2. Resting on a wall next to 1
  3. Resting sideways in the middle

90 secs:

  1. Resting on the opposite wall as before
  2. Resting on same wall
  3. Resting sideways in the middle

105 secs:

  1. Resting with tail moving slightly, tip of the tail is moving
  2. Resting on same wall
  3. Resting sideways in the middle

120 secs:

  1. Swimming along a wall
  2. Resting on a wall
  3. Resting sideways in the middle

135 secs:

  1. Resting where 2 was previously
  2. Resting on the opposite wall
  3. Resting sideways in the middle

145 secs:

  1. Moving into a wall, bumping against it
  2. Resting on the wall
  3. Resting sideways in the middle

160 secs:

  1. Swimming into the wall, moving slightly along the edge
  2. Resting on the wall
  3. Resting sideways in the middle

175 secs:

  1. Resting, but tail is moving
  2. Resting on the wall
  3. Resting sideways in the middle

190 secs:

  1. Resting while tail is moving, next to 2
  2. Resting on the wall
  3. Resting sideways in the middle

*Tadpole 3 was not dead as it moved when touched and at many times after this observation

Tadpoles were put into container with food and some waste:

-More frequent breathing, could have been due to the stress of the transfer

-All tadpoles moved much more when food was present, even when not eating

-Eating occurred

-When encountering a larger food particle, a tadpole would bump into it.

Question:

Were the tadpoles truly more active when in the presence of food?

Hypothesis:

The tadpoles locomote more often than they rest when around food..

Prediction:

If tadpoles locomote more often than they rest when around food, then tadpoles in a food rich environment will rest less and locomote more than tadpoles in a food deprived environment.