Not only did we have a mini garden with just-hatched eggs, but the kids and I had gotten down on hands and knees and rescued every last taddie from the rapidly drying driveway puddles. We put those in a separate artificial pool, because they were just getting their hinders and we wanted to track their development separately. There were hundreds and hundreds of these older tadpoles and we just couldn't leave them wriggling under the hot sun.
It's such a wonderful feeling to take a handful of about-to-perish tadpoles and release them into a cool bucket of water. They lift off from the silt that was about to be their grave and flutter through the water, doubtless saying WHEEWW!! or AHHHH! or HALLELUJAH!! or BRRR! or CHICKAWOW WOW!! or whatever a rescued tadpole says.
A !@#@#$# raccoon soon saw to the overpopulation in the little gray pool. In one hellish night, it reduced the tadpoles by about 3/4. After that, I put a heavy grate over each pool every night. Having to do that every evening wasn't much fun, but I couldn't let that happen again. Durn coons. Just little bears, is all they are.
The tadpoles that remained seemed traumatized, and were extremely skittish and shy for more than a week. I could tell they'd learned from that awful night that dark looming creatures above them mean death. I felt bad for them and set about winning their trust.
Goldfish pellets were just the thing.
As the tadpoles mature and sprout arms, they absorb their tail. There are so many things about frog metamorphosis that blow my mind, and just one of those things is the ability to absorb an appendage. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could do that? For instance, let's say I'd like to morph into a fashion model. If I had tadpole superpowers, I could just absorb most of my upper thighs and belly flab and head on down to the Ford Agency. I could be one of those beautiful middle-aged ladies in the Viagra ads, the ones that are always strolling around on beaches with their sleeves and pantlegs rolled up, looking satisfied.
Instead I am sitting here wishing I could have some ice cream. But I can't, and won't.
Yes. Tadpoles. We were talking about tadpoles.
Another mind-blower. These guys go from having a fishlike sucker mouth with a sort of radula (spiny tonguelike scraper) to having a regular frog mouth that opens and closes like yours and mine. So besides the obvious metamorphosis from fishiform to frogiform, the mouth is undergoing profound changes as well.