Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fun With Tadpoles

The best thing about our house in Malawi is the water feature in the garden. It is gorgeous. I have always wanted a pond in my garden. Here I get one and I have a gardener to keep it clean and running. Perfect.

The kids love it too because it always seems to be full of frog eggs or tadpoles. If they sit with their feet hanging in the pond and stay very still pretty soon the tadpoles will come and nibble on their feet. Sort of like a fish pedicure but with tadpoles instead of fish. I tried it and it tickled. I think I prefer my pedicures performed by human hands.

Having tadpoles outside wasn't enough for my nature loving boys. The boys have transformed Ribbon's terrarium into a tadpole tank. They caught tadpoles when they were really tiny, right after they hatched, and put them in the tank. Following instructions we found on the internet fed them frozen then thawed lettuce. The freezing makes the lettuce softer and easier for the tadpoles to eat.

Now it's a few weeks later and we have seen the tadpoles more than double in size and start growing legs. This last weekend we release the first tiny frogs back to the pond.

This one isn't quite ready for release he will get to spend a few more days growing before we turn him loose. The little frog in the pictures below is ready for release, no tail and perfectly formed but so tiny.

If you look close at the plant roots the little frog is climbing up and away on one of the pond plants. We lost sight of him within minutes.

I am not sure why but some tadpoles developed faster than others. Some are already frogs and some are just now getting their legs. Perhaps we have several species of frogs and tadpoles. It would certainly account for some of the noise at night. Frogs are loud!


Connie said...

How cute! What a fun opportunity. :)

Jae said...

That is so cool!

Rhianna just finished completing Africa on the Cool Math site - and was so happy to find Malawi! She knows now where you "are" as she put it. Even tho she said "but i don't know WHERE in Malawi she lives, I just know WHERE Malawi is". LOL!

Kate Husband said...

You are the best mom ever. Seriously. I wish you lived around the corner from me so I could find wonder and amazement through your eyes every day. Thanks for posting so I can do it virtually!