Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Metamorphosis

We took the above ground pool that was buried halfway in the ground out of our backyard. We plan to put a pond in the resulting cavity in our yard. May rains soon filled the hole with stagnant water. The male toads it attracted sang so loudly at night we could hardly sleep. "GRRRBLAAAAAAAHHHHH!" they screamed. Apparently, the females could not resist, because days later, tadpoles appeared, shimmering away from our shadows.


The tadpoles here in the pond are quite small, you may need to click on the image to appreciate them at all.

"If you want to save any of those tadpoles, you'd better hurry up," Anthony warned. The kids and I went down in our Wellington boots, and they scooped up tons of tadpoles with paper cups. Anthony was right -- the next day the "pond" was dry and the polliwogs were dessicated.

We fed the larval amphibians frozen spinach, and they slowly grew. They grew faster when exposed to UV light and warming June temperatures. When I came back from my trip, I could see legs!

I knew that once legs appeared, their digestive systems amazingly change from the long, fermentation mazes of herbivores to the short, simple tracts of protein eaters. Also, as their gills turned to lungs, they would need a way to get out of the water. Anna and I added sunning rocks.


Close up of tadpoles.


This morning, the metamorphosis for one pollywog was complete. A New Toad!

11 comments:

COUSIN BEVIE said...

That's SO interesting, Jenn!

Good learning stuff for the kids.

XOXOXOXO

Leigh-Ann said...

Wow, great job growing toads from seeds ;-)

We used to often have tadpoles in the classroom when I was growing up, yet I don't remember any of them actually living to the point of becoming frogs/toads. I always thought they were pretty fragile, so it's impressive you managed to keep them alive.

Leah said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOGS!!!! when I was little I use to catch tadpoles. But I never "hand raised" them. It brought back many memories. I use to kiss these little "frogs" always hoping for that prince....

Lisa said...

That frog is adorable! I'm still laughing at your description of the call of the male frogs. hahahaha!

paula said...

Jenn that is so incredible - what an amazing job you did with those taddys. Brilliant!

ColeBugsmommy said...

Pflugerville must be very pfertile...snake sex...toad sex...chicken sex...I'll leave it @ that. Oh, what pfun!

EdamameMommy said...

ROTFLMAO at colebugsmommy. I'm pfeeling kinda pfunny about all this pfornicating in your backyard too. Guess the birds and the bees for Anna and Colin is more like the snakes and the toads, huh? See, the pfinest blog material is right in your own backyard!

Jess said...

Way cool pictures! I love them so much! I definitely got a biology lesson! :) The frogs are sooooo cute!

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is...Ribbit, ribbit

angie said...

I know what you mean about the noise -- it's amazing! We have a pond probably 200 feet from our house and as soon as the ice breaks in the spring through at least the end of June it is so loud from all the frogs looking for love that I have to shut the windows at night on that side of the house. Lovely to listen to when you're awake though!

sciencefreakimeangeek said...

That is AWESOME!