Young Wood Frogs Getting Land Legs
Thank you all for your good wishes regarding my next book!
With the dry weather we’ve been having, there is reason to be concerned about vernal pool residents, especially those that need to undergo metamorphosis before the pools dry up. Granted, those amphibians such as Wood Frogs and Spotted Salamanders which transform into terrestrial creatures have evolved to have very quick life cycles, due to the temporary nature of their aquatic environment, but were they quick enough this year?
A very young Wood Frog crossed my path yesterday and answered that question for me. No bigger than a raisin, it had to have emerged from its aquatic home in the very recent past. When you think about the changes that have to occur between egg stage and adulthood (a total of two months, and it takes three of those eight weeks for Wood Frog eggs to hatch), it is mind-boggling. Gills disappear and lungs develop, tail is absorbed, legs develop, mouth widens, intestines adapt to a herbivore-to-carnivore switch in diet – all inside of five weeks.
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This entry was posted on July 1, 2016 by Mary Holland. It was filed under Amphibians, Frogs, July, Metamorphosis, Spotted Salamanders, Uncategorized, Vernal Pools and was tagged with Lithobates sylvaticus.