vendredi 31 juillet 2009

Watching the tadpoles grow up


The first hind legs (they develop first) appeared over last weekend on the largest of the tadpoles, at about 1 month old. I first spotted them on June 24. If you click on the picture, you can see it much larger, and there they are, delicate hind legs.

The head, which ends up being the head and body, is starting to look very froggish, with the beginnings of the wide mouth and bulging eyes. It's also developing the frog's eventual color, green in this case, with the stripe forming down the back from the tip of the nose.

There are lots of tadpoles. Audouin keeps asking what I am going to do with them, suggesting that we need to get rid of them, and I just tell him that nature will see to that all on its own. In this particular species, and perhaps it is true of others, the frogs born that year do not hibernate in water. They leave their birth area. This is perhaps the mechanism that helps determine the fittest that will survive and forces them to establish territory. They won't all return to our fish-pond-in-the-fountain.

At least I don't think they will.

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