Thursday, May 10, 2007

They grow up so fast!...

I took some more pictures of the tadpoles today. It's starting to become more difficult with the tank filling with muck. I tried to filter it some yesterday, but the tank is only about 3 inches deep with water, and the pump can't pull the water that far up apparently. I settled for a 50% water change, which helped, but I'll have to do a full change soon if they keep messing the water up like they've been doing.Here are three of them crowded into a corner. For size comparison, the larger shiny rocks in the tank are about the size of a quarter. Last time I pointed out the size difference between the late-hatcher and his companions. Since then we've found others that were smaller than most, and as they've grown it seems they aren't growing at the same rate. The largest tadpoles are about 1 and 1/4 inches long now, and 3/8 inch wide at their widest part of their (head? belly?) bodies. Spring Peeper tadpoles are supposed to grow larger than the frogs they eventually become, so this should be interesting to watch them grow. Their eyes, which started sort of on the sides of their heads, have moved to the top and very much resemble the eyes of an adult frog. They're still coated in the clear jelly-like skin over their whole bodies.

I zoomed in on this guy, post-photo so it's a bit blurry, so you could see their little back legs are developing. We saw this more than a week ago in the form of one solid appendage from their underbelly. We didn't realize at the time it was their legs forming, we just thought it was poop. (If you've ever had goldfish, you know what I'm talking about.)

I can't believe how much fun they are to watch. They've become a lot more active than they were shortly after hatching, and zoom around the tank at the slightest bump or glimpse of movement. When they get a bit bigger and more hearty, I plan to catch a couple and photograph them outside of the water.

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