Wildlife

Our Trio of Tadpoles – Now With More Legs!

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Time for breakfast, little tadpoles!  Are they still tadpoles once they get hind legs?  Yep – I just looked it up.  They remain tadpoles (or polliwogs) until they’ve got all their legs, their lungs have developed, and their tails are disappearing.  Then they’re called froglets.  I can’t wait til we can refer to them that way – it’s cute.

Here’s what we’ve been feeding them – lettuce.  Bits of lettuce (organic, from the garden – nothing but the best for our tadpoles!) that have been frozen (to break down the cell structure) and then chopped up into little bits.  They thaw at this point and get all mushy. 

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You know how if you buy a package of lettuce and somewhere in the middle of the mix there’s a yucky rotting piece of lettuce, all wet and gross and smelly?  That’s what this is like, except for the smelly part.

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Now it’s time to feed the babies.  I know…a knife’s not the best thing for feeding babies.  But we like our babies to be tough.

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A little stir of the knife, and the bits of lettuce float free.  They’ll eventually sink to the bottom and the tadpoles will nibble at them.  It’s cute.

Oh, and that little guy?  Yes, that’s one of the tadpoles.  The biggest one, actually.

He’s just floating there.  Belly up.  But don’t worry – not belly-up as in dead.  No, he’s just hanging out.  He does that. 

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Then, if you see him like that and ARE worried that he’s dead, and you shake the tank a bit or poke him, he’ll spin around like a little froggy cyclone and swim around in many directions. 

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At first I was thinking that maybe something was wrong with whatever it is in your brain that tells you you’re upside-down.  Of course, he’s only got a teeny tiny brain, but he’s a frog, so maybe that would be a major thing taking up brain space. 

But then, moments ago, when I was researching froggy terminology, I learned that when these guys are first born, or hatched, really, they have gills, so they’re more fish than anything.  Then, as their legs develop, their lungs begin to develop, too, and they start learning to breath air.  And so they will sometimes hang out at the top of the water, breathing the air above.

Aha!  So that’s what he’s doing!  Can’t wait for everyone to get home so I can share my newfound knowledge!

The other two aren’t quite as far along.  At least, not in the lung development. 

This guy has both legs…

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And this last one…he’s got one leg, anyway.  The other one is either still in development or tucked up against his little big-headed body.

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We’ve also got this guy:

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It’s a baby snail.  There are three of them, but this was the only one I saw this morning.  He likes to float around at the water surface, too.

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Bill and Julia had gone to the pond down the road one day and brought back a HUGE snail.  They put her in with the tadpoles and within a day there were two new baby snails in there as well.  After the third baby appeared, we decided to put mama back in the pond where she’d have more space to crank out babies.

In the meantime, we’ve got a little aquatic family of three tadpoles and three baby snails.

Kind of like the Brady Bunch.  Only without any blond hair. 

I wonder if that makes me Alice.

2 thoughts on “Our Trio of Tadpoles – Now With More Legs!

  1. When I first read your first sentence, I thought you meant you were *having* the tadpoles for breakfast! Ack! Too early I guess for proper reading comprehension. LOL

  2. I started skimming this because my tadpole is just beginning to grow his legs, but I ended up reading the whole thing because you are such a good/entertaining/funny writer!

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