Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday Frog - Metamorph

Spotted this tiny fellow hanging on between a couple of blades of grass/sedge by the edge of a large pond a few weeks back. It was in the process of metamorphosing and still had a significant tail.

Too small to really tell what it is at ~1 cm long, though I suspect it's a Common Eastern Froglet (Crinia signifera). Given where it was however, there are a few other species that are possibilities.

At this stage in a frog's life, it generally doesn't eat at all. Its gut is still in the transitional stage between the long spiral-shaped gut it required for its herbivorous diet as a tadpole and the relatively short gut it will need to digest invertebrates. Plus the gape is still widening to give it a big froggy grin, and isn't much use in grabbing prey. So a lot of the energy the metamorph gains is from the resorption of the tail. Numerous other changes are going on; the transition to land involves the switch from using gills to lungs and skin for oxygen absorption, plus the skin needs to toughen up and get ready for retaining moisture.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you
I was trying to find a definition for a frog "metamorph" and now I
know - also the energy re-apportioning info interesting
cute little bugger too