Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Our frogspawn has hatched

Posted by Rosie

Over the last few days I have excitedly been watching our pond as the eggs in our lump of spawn have changed from black blob to comma shaped and then into very small tadpoles.  Today I saw something I have never seen before so do not know if it is a normal occurrence or not.  Most of the eggs have successfully hatched but the tiny tadpoles have not left the safety of the spawn, but instead many have gathered in the middle.  Why this is I'm not sure; for warmth maybe or perhaps to glean the last bit of nutrition from the spawn before heading out into the great unknown that is our little pond?  I don't know.

Last night we had quite a severe frost - several degrees in fact, resulting in white grass and frozen water in the pond and water buckets.  However a quick peak at the weather forecast for tonight reveals it should be mild in comparison, giving our little tadpoles an easier start in life. They'll need it. Apparently from each average sized dollop of frog spawn only 4 of the tadpoles make it to breeding age ... and in an average frog spawn there can be 4000 eggs.  Life as a tadpole or young frog is a hard one but as we see plenty of frogs (and toads) around here, it seems a 0.1% success rate is still working for the population as a whole.

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