TROOP•444

Old Hickory Council - Hanging Rock District

Troop 444: Reptile and Amphibian Study Merit Badge

 

Reptile and Amphibian Study

 

 

Requirements

  1. Describe the identifying characteristics of six species of reptiles and four species of amphibians found in the United States. For any four of these, make sketches from your own observations or take photographs. Show markings, color patterns, or other characteristics that are important in the identification of each of the four species. Discuss the habits and habitats of all 10 species.
  2. Discuss with your merit badge counselor the approximate number of species and general geographic distribution of reptiles and amphibians in the United States. Prepare a list of the most common species found in your local area or state.
  3. Describe the main differences between
        A. Amphibians and reptiles
        B. Alligators and crocodiles
        C. Toads and frogs
        D. Salamanders and lizards
        E. Snakes and lizards
  4. Explain how reptiles and amphibians are an important component of the natural environment. List four species that are officially protected by the federal government or by the state you live in, and tell why each is protected. List three species of reptiles and three species of amphibians found in your local area that are not protected. Discuss the food habits of all 10 species.
  5. Describe how reptiles and amphibians reproduce.
  6. From observation, describe how snakes move forward. Describe the functions of the muscles, ribs, and belly plates.
  7. Describe in detail six venomous snakes and the one venomous lizard found in the United States. Describe their habits and geographic range. Tell what you should do in case of a bite by a venomous species.
  8. Do ONE of the following:
        A. Maintain one or more reptiles or amphibians for at least a month. Record food accepted, eating
              methods, changes in coloration, shedding of skins, and general habits; or keep the eggs of a reptile
              from the time of laying until hatching; or keep the eggs of an amphibian from the time of laying until
              their transformation into tadpoles (frogs) or larvae (salamanders).
        B. Choose a reptile or amphibian that you can observe at a local zoo, aquarium, nature center, or other
              such exhibit (such as your classroom or school). Study the specimen weekly for a period of three
              months. At each visit, sketch the specimen in its captive habitat and note any changes in its
              coloration, shedding of skins, and general habits and behavior. Find out, either from information you
              locate on your own or by talking to the caretaker, what this species eats and what are its native
              habitat and home range, preferred climate, average life expectancy, and natural predators. Also
              identify any human caused threats to its population and any laws that protect the species and its
              habitat. After the observation period, share what you have learned with your counselor.
  9. Do TWO of the following:
        A. Identify at night three kinds of toads or frogs by their voices. Imitate the song of each for your
              counselor. Stalk each with a flashlight and discover how each sings and from where.
        B. Identify by sight eight species of reptiles or amphibians.
        C. Using visual aids, give a brief talk to a small group on three different reptiles and amphibians.
  10. Tell five superstitions or false beliefs about reptiles and amphibians and give a correct explanation for each. Give seven examples of unusual behavior or other true facts about reptiles and amphibians.

Reptile and Amphibian Study Worksheets for use in working on these requirements

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout Is...

A Scout tells the truth.
He keeps his promises.
Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
People can depend on him.
TRUSTWORTHY
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.LOYAL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.HELPFUL
A Scout is a friend to all.
He is a brother to other Scouts.
He seeks to understand others.
He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
FRIENDLY
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position.
He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
COURTEOUS
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle.
He treats others as he wants to be treated.
He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
KIND
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop.
He obeys the laws of his community and country.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
OBEDIENT
A Scout looks for the bright side of things.
He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
CHEERFUL
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others.
He saves for unforeseen needs.
He protects and conserves natural resources.
He carefully uses time and property.
THRIFTY
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid.
He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
BRAVE
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean.
He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals.
He helps keep his home and community clean.
CLEAN
A Scout is reverent toward God.
He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others.
REVERENT