Pollywog Party in Canoe Country

While paddling the border lakes in canoe country, Dawn LaPointe and Gary Fiedler of Radiant Spirit Gallery came upon a treasure of tadpoles at a portage landing.

From the YouTube video description:

The hundreds of tadpoles were in varying stages of metamorphosis — those underwater still had tails, most had rear legs, some had complete front legs, others had no front legs or had just elbows protruding from their sides. On land, tiny froglets were resting and crawling about under the warm rays of the sun. The young frogs were about 1/4″ wide by 1/2″ long (about the size of my pinkie fingernail).

This footage provides an excellent opportunity to witness the tadpoles’ natural behavior in their native environment, as they were filmed in the wilderness and not in a controlled aquarium tank. Can you spot the various stages of metamorphosis in the tadpoles? Isn’t it interesting what an advantage the front legs offer, compared to those without front legs?

The frogs’ metamorphosis timeline goes something like this. When they are 6-9 weeks old, the frogs’ tiny legs start to sprout, the head and body change shape, and the front legs soon bulge and pop out, elbow first. The pollywogs look like tiny frogs with long tails when they’re around 9 weeks old. After developing for a few more weeks, the froglets look like a mini version of an adult frog, with a little stub of a tail still visible. (source: allaboutfrogs.org)

We were pleased that folks departing the portage landing thoughtfully alerted arriving paddlers of the tadpoles’ presence, so extra caution could be taken in choosing foot and paddle placement when landing the canoes. We reciprocated as others arrived at the landing, and later heard them sharing with more new arrivals. Not only was everyone interested in observing these fascinating critters up close, but they were cautious not to harm the pollywogs and froglets inadvertently. It was refreshing to share these experiences with like-minded, compassionate individuals who appreciate all creatures great and small!

If you are able to identify the species of frogs in the video, please share it in a comment. Thank you for appreciating the wonders of nature with us!

1 Comment

Helmut Flaag

about 7 years ago

A brilliant statement on the 'Americana' music scene...

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