Monday, March 31, 2008

Weird Science

The other day Daddy and Little Man were on a walk in our fab new back yard; all 1.5 acres of it. As the two bonding outdoors men walked around our pool that currently looks like a pond, Little Man made an observation. "Daddy, those frogs are doing horsey back". Why yes they are Little Man, hehe. I remember life growing up with a pool in the backyard; frogs. Now I know why. So rather than dwell on what we will deal with when we pull off the cover in May, Daddy decided to use this as a learning opportunity. Don't worry Aunt Tammy, we are not teaching sex education yet...well not totally. Daddy scooped up the trail of eggs with a net a couple of days after the walk and placed them in a fish tank in our laundry room. We talked to Little Man about what will happen over the next few days and will document it with photos. Little Man was intrigued and wanted to visit the tank often to "check on the poles". He told me they will grow mouths soon so they can get food. That is good Little Man, I have enough mouths to feed. Daddy may still have a nice store front, but there is a reason he no longer carries inventory.

When Frogs mate, the male frog tends to clasp the female underneath in an embrace called amplexus (I Guess Little Man was not aware of this term and thought it looked more like a horsey back ride). He literally climbs on her back, reaches his arms around her "waist", either just in front of the hind legs, just behind the front legs, or even around the head. Amplexus can last several days (braggers)! Usually, it occurs in the water (yeah, like my pool!), though some species, mate on land or even in trees (hey, can;t be picky right). While in some cases, complicated courting behavior occurs before mating (true of humans too), many species of frogs are known for attempting to mate with anything that moves which isn't small enough to eat (hmm, sounds familiar)!
Frogs and Toads tend to lay many many eggs because there are many hazards between fertilization and full grown frogness! Those eggs that die tend to turn white or opaque (how about that, I wondered about those little guys). The lucky ones that actually manage to hatch still start out on a journey of many perils. Life starts right as the central yolk splits in two (let's not debate when life begins but this might give us an idea). It then divides into four, then eight, etc.- until it looks a bit like a raspberry inside a jello cup (I am not sure I can eat jello again, never like raspberries). Soon, the embryo starts to look more and more like a tadpole, getting longer and moving about in it's egg

Let me explain something. I am not a girly girl, but I am not a huge fan of things that crawl and are slimy. I like to camp but prefer to do so with some luxuries like a space heater and at least a community shower area. I need a place to do my business that does not involve leaves. With that said I have to tell you I struggle with not acting like things that gross me out don't gross me out. Little Man is already a little put off by stuff and I certainly don't want to confirm any concerns he has. I must say though, every time I go to the laundry room and I see that fish tank with that slimy confetti string of eggs I shudder a little. I have not actually touched the snake of eggs but in my mind I can feel the individual bumps as I run my finger over the eggs. Yuck. I should stop thinking about that, or just stop doing laundry.

I have to thank the University of Google for my scientific references. Although I have a B.S and will soon complete my MBA, the S includes very little science and a little more bull.


Law Student Hot Mama said...

Eww! It looks like worms.

It'll be cool once it's actually tadpoles, though. Until then, EWWWWW!

Honeybell said...

Goodness Gracious. You are running quite the bordello in your back yard! So um, what are you going to do with the resulting frogs?

Putz said...

i have a son and his son josh has a trianchela spider for a pet and they keep the ecoskeleton above the bread drawer, he insists it be there close to the habitat..alsoihave a friend akela in england who is in the house of commons who had mating finches outside his window for THREE NIGHTS ...i have just come from nappy"s post on frogs

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Well well well... It's a small world..!

Putz said...

update......the triranchela bit my son not the grandsonand got a red rash from the poison