Frog metamorphosis at Disney

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IMG_0389-Frog-tadpole-EPCOT-ChinaI found this little guy in the lily pond outside the China pavilion at EPCOT in Walt Disney World. I was shocked to see that although he looks like a fully-formed adult frog, his tadpole tail is still quite prominent. Researching this, I later found out that there’s a biological process known as apoptosis that is supposed to happen during the transformation from tadpole to frog. As the frog is growing up, limbs form with webs between the toes for swimming, and the tail is no longer needed. Apoptosis is the process whereby the cells that form the tail are programmed to die one by one until the tail disappears. After examining photos from various places on the web that show the metamorphosis of a frog, I’m convinced that this little guy is a bit too mature in other ways to still have that much of a tadpole tail. Maybe the tail is his “security blanket”… 😆 click the photo to see a larger version in Flickr

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