Frog Blog – Week 3 – Little Black Commas
Our frog spawn in the office pond is approximately 2 weeks old and despite the very bad weather we have experienced in the last few days there are signs that things are beginning to happen. The weather has been quite cold, although it is hard to say that it has been unseasonal, with the early Easter it is easy to forget that we are still in March and on the whole the winter has been relatively mild.
Only one warm sunny day over the last week, we have had heavy rain and blustery showers but fortunately not too many bonfires from the construction workers nearby polluting the water with ash drifting into the pond. The water temperature remains cold but a close examination of the frog spawn shows that the little black dots we started with inside their protective jelly are beginning to change. The majority of them are showing some definition, we have a lot of “little black commas”, the eggs are showing signs of development and we can see the start of a defined head end and a tail.
A Close up of the Frog Spawn
Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur
Despite the cold weather the spawn is beginning to change, the picture shows that the embryos are developing, becoming more elongated and showing signs of progress. We suspect that the water temperature will still be determining the rate of development, perhaps the warmer weather forecast for next week will help the spawn to hatch in the next 10 days or so.
Only one adult frog has been observed in the pond during office hours. Ironically, it has taken to sitting next to the frog spawn using the surround pond week (Elodea) to support its weight. We were a little concerned about this frog, normally frogs confine themselves to the margins of the pond, where there is more cover. However, this frog, (we think it is a male), seemed quite happy to sit amongst the pond week in the centre of the pond.
Some of us started to speculate that this was the father, checking on his family to be, but this was probably a bit too fanciful for the more rational members of the team. Amphibians do adopt many strategies when it comes to looking after and raising their young. It is not just the so called higher forms of life, the mammals and birds that adopt a benevolent attitude to their offspring.