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« frogs’ eggs and tadpoles »

outdoor laboratory

The annual spring collection has been done.


see his face?!

Jack collected about 15 to 20 tadpoles before we cleaned the pool. We have a lot of treefrogs and spring peepers, so we imagine these tadpoles will grow up to be one of those types of frogs.

This year Jack was determined to find frogs’ eggs, which he saw last year but didn’t collect because he didn’t realize what they were until he read about them later.

He described exactly how they looked to his dad — “Black on one side, white on the other, suspended in jelly” — and was rewarded this week when dad saw some in the pool! He said he only knew what they were because of Jack’s excellent description.

frogs’ eggs!

observational drawing

Jack collected three dozen eggs and is keeping them in a separate container from his tads. (If you are collecting them from the wild you should probably not collect more than a dozen — but these poor eggs were laid in our pool and were doomed anyway.)

In a warm room frogs’ eggs will develop and hatch in about a week. Cooler temperatures will delay their hatching. Use a magnifying lens to examine an egg. Each egg has a black part and a white part. The white part is the yolk. It is used for food by the developing tadpole. Each day you can see changes in the dark part. You’ll see the head and the tail of a tadpole develop. You’ll see the tadpole begin to move in the jelly. — Pets in a Jar: Collecting and Caring for Small Wild Animals

studying the eggs

observational drawing

today jack realized these eggs were no longer round!

illustration from the “pets in a jar” book (see above for link)

jack’s observational drawing of the older eggs

So we have two graduations to look forward to — the eggs turning into tadpoles and the tadpoles turning into frogs. We will keep you informed as the situation develops.

See also: Tadpolarium

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Reader Comments (22)

oh my gosh, that is wonderful!
and I love that jack is a lefty. have I said this before?

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlaeroport

So Cool!! Awesome idea, jack- as usual:) Now... i expect inspired froggie names, comics, and maybe even a short documentary! xoxo

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeisa

Lori, that is so cool that he found them in your pool! We haven't seen any of the little guys yet this year. Bummer for us, but hooray for you all!
Lisa :)

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlisa

you have, lori! :^) and thank you!

leisa, the biggest tadpole has already been named … and there’s a video of him … i’m sure the rest will follow! ;^)

lisa, i hope you find some — it’s been so cold here this week i think it’s holding back their development! and thank you! :^)

May 28, 2009 | Registered CommenterLori

How exciting! :D

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSherry

I am once again astounded by how similar tadpoles' development is to that of human embryos. I mean, appearance-wise.

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnnika

Yay Jack!!! I too love the lefty. I keep trying to have one of those and it hasn't worked yet.

And I guess that's the plus side of not draining your pool for the winter. :^)

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Jackson

I love this website!!!!

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBetter Panic

Lori, This is all very cool. What a great scientist you have on your hands!!
That pic of the eggs is just awesome!

We had our first frog sighting at the pond this week. Very exciting.
Now I know that what we saw were not frog eggs... the mystery continues.
Great post!

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Thank you for these amazing photos and drawings! Frogs' egg--wow! My children have been campaigning for tadpoles as their first (and temporary) pets, and we're delighted that we can check here to watch the development of Jack's along with ours.

May 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkaren m.

Wonderful reportage!
I especially like pictures where you can see drawing-observation in process!
And a nice looking glass - does it have a compass too?

May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNina / Apple-Pine

Great post, I loved reading this. My little guys and I are just about to do this kind of thing, so great information, and I'm gonna get a copy of that wonderful book you mentioned. Thank you.

May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha

I have been thinking if doing tadpoles with the girls - thanks for the great tips :)

May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMariah

I have always wanted to raise tadpoles with my kids and have never done it. Maybe this should be the year! Pets in a Jar sounds like a great resource--I think fear of knowing what to do is what's held me back.

I love that Jack knew about what frog eggs looked like because he read about them, and then passed on that information. Thinking like a scientist paid off!

May 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpatricia

Amazing!! I can't wait to show my boys.

May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLecia

that is such a great book.

nice job, Jack!

May 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterestea

What a great post.... I have been thinking alot about tadpoles lately.... thanx for the book link as well.

May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAbby

How cool!

May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Griffith

sherry, thank you! :^)

annika, especially when they’re bean-shaped, right? :^)

sarah, we drain the pool, we just don’t cover it after! there was very little water in it this spring along with some decayed leaves — and tadpoles. :^) after we filled it for this year, the frogs kept laying eggs; they live in the trees all around the pool (there’s a creek there, too) and they are stubborn about relinquishing it to us. ;^)

thank you, b.p. :^)

dawn, thank you! :^) yes, he is really into it. he collected and raised tadpoles last year, too, so he was really excited about doing it again this year — and finding eggs this time.

identifying the squishy, gooey things you find floating in the water isn’t easy, is it? :^)

karen, thank you! we’ll look forward to seeing how yours do! :^)

nina, thank you! yes, it’s an optic wonder — it also folds into binoculars and has a mirror! :^)

samantha, thank you! it is a great book — we’ve used it a lot!

mariah, yay :^) we will want to see how your tadpole adventure goes!

patricia, it is a great book — you do need to try it! :^) i love frogs.

i loved that, too — and so did my husband — he was really excited to find the eggs exactly as jack had described them! :^)

thank you, lecia :^)

estea, did you recommend this book to me? :^)

thank you, abby! :^)

thank you, steph! :^)

May 29, 2009 | Registered CommenterLori

thanks a lot, Lori!
I've just added it to my birthday wishlist ;)

May 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNina / Apple-Pine

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