Science Sunday: Frozen Fish

No, this is NOT a post about fish sticks...

In Science,
we have been looking at different habitats
around the globe.

This week we discussed
High Mountain Habitats.

The kiddos were especially interested
to learn how animals have adapted to live
in such a cold, oxygen-deprived environment.
When it is too cold,
the Streamertail
has learned to go into a deep rest,
called a torpor,
to conserve energy.

To "cement" this concept into the kiddos'
beautiful brains,
we did an experiment from
Janice VanCleave's
"Biology for Every Kid."

The items we used for this experiment were:

A clear jar
A clear bowl
Water from our aquarium
A fish from our aquarium
Ice Water
Pencil and paper

After filling our jar with some aquarium water...
...Jungle Girl "fished out"
one of the fish from our
EXTREMELY murky aquarium.

(Perhaps the most challenging part
of the entire experiment...)
Baby Girl held the jar
for me while I put the fish in it.
Here's our fishy friend,
getting used to his smaller accommodations.
We measured and recorded
the water's temperature.

(We were supposed to wait 30 minutes
before performing the experiment
to enable the fish to get used to its
new environment,
but we had dance to get to,
so we only waited about 10 minutes.)

Jungle Girl then watched the fish's
mouth and operculum.
For thirty seconds, she counted how many times they moved,
and then I recorded the data.

We then placed the jar into a bowl of ice water.

We then waited for the water temp to drop 5 degrees.

(You are supposed to wait until
the temp reads 10 degrees Celsius,
but, again, we were running short on time.)

I took the jar out so Jungle Girl could again
count the number of times the fish moved
its mouth and operculum in 30 seconds.

Even though we did not follow the experiment exactly,
we saw some results.

We discussed how animals conserve energy when their
environment gets colder,
which is why the fish's breathing started to slow down.

(The girls, during the entire experiment, kept asking
if the fish would be OK.
So, just so y'all know,

If you'd like to see what other mad scientists have been up to this week,
swim on over to Science Sunday.

Also, see what other "A-Ha!" moments kiddos are having over on
"Show and Tell"


  1. With our success/fail rate for experiments, I don't think I'd risk this one, on our one and only gold fish. The children would never forgeth it if I killed their pet for science! :)

  2. Great experiment. They did such a great job. I love how they recorded their data, just like a realy scientist.:)

  3. What a great way to put theory into practice. Your children will always remember this lesson because of this experiment.

    Wahoo to have your hubby back. What a crazy time of year for all of you. The side walk chalk art would have been fascinating to see and a good source of inspiration for your little artists.

    I hope you got to put your feet up after you tackled your play room.

    Thank you so much for your kind comments regarding the birth of Taleea. So far (it's only 15 days in) our new little girl has spent most of her time either feeding, sleeping or being cuddled and kissed - now that's the life!

  4. See, now that's a good reason to have a pet. Because there are so many cool things you can observe. Now, have can I convince Jeff of this?

  5. This is a great experiment and I'm happy to know the fish was okay! I like the idea of doing an experiment that requires the recording of data. I haven't done that with my kids yet, but think we'll try something soon.

  6. My sons would love doing this, as they love science and love learning about habitats.
    We are currently working on the desert habitats of North America. Thank you for sharing.

  7. How fascinating! Thanks for sharing this activity. My girls would love doing such an experiment, if ever we got a fish...