The size of a human fingernail, this tiny glass frog in Costa Rica is a wonder to watch. In this clip from the Discovery Channel’s Speed of Life, you can see the glass frog’s rice grain-sized, red heart and internal organs through its translucent belly skin.
Costa Rica has 13 species of glass frogs, and there are more than 100 species across Central and South America. However, because they are small, arboreal, nocturnal, and can live in extreme, wet areas, they can be hard to spot. Luckily, we have the internet:
Via National Geographic, this is Ecuador’s Hyalinobatrachium pellucidum glass frog.
There are more frogs and more videos about camouflage in the archives.
This week, the 5 year old discovered the science videos of Bite Sci-zed’s Alex Dainis, starting with this one: Echinoderm Show & Tell. When he immediately asked for more, we watched The Gas Laws, Dishes and Membranes and Why Red Blood Cells Look Like Donuts, above.
We’ve talked about red blood cells (and white blood cells) before, so some of this sounded familiar. And while some information is targeted towards older kids, the use of everyday objects and drawings provided enough familiarity to start our conversation…
Related watching: The Circulatory System, The Bloodmobile and BBC Knowledge Explainer DNA. Plus more videos about the body.
And the next time you have a donut, you’ll know how to make a red blood cell. Go forth, do science.
The circulatory system consisting of the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins, is the pumping mechanism that transports blood throughout the body. In the heart, the left ventricle contracts, pushing red blood cells into the aorta, the body’s largest artery. From here, blood moves through a series of increasingly smaller arteries, until it reaches a capillary, the junction between arteries and veins. Here oxygen molecules detach from the red blood cells and slip across the capillary wall into body tissue.
Now de-oxygenated, blood begins its return to the heart. It passes through increasingly larger veins to eventually reach the right atrium. It enters the right ventricle, which pumps it through the pulmonary arteries into the lungs, to pick up more oxygen. Oxygenated, blood reenters the left atrium, moves into the left ventricle, and the blood’s journey begins again.
Nothing like riding through the body to get the point across!