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”… πŸ˜† click the photo to see a larger version in Flickr

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22 thoughts on “Frog metamorphosis at Disney”

  1. I remember going out and catching tadpoles when I was little and some of them had legs but still had their tails. Kind of weird looking.

  2. It’s amazing that you spotted that little guy. Years ago for Boy Scouts Nick and I raised tadpoles up to frogs. Then killed them. Not being a frog expert I didn’t realize I actually needed to feed the frogs. I mean, the tadpoles ate whatever was in the water, I just expected the frogs to as well. Oh, I was so young and dumb. (I’m much older and dumber now). πŸ™‚ Anyhow, I don’t think he’s ugly ’cause he’s alive!

  3. What a unique photo! You did seem to catch a frog that looks a tad mature to still have a tail. VERY cool. And thanks for teaching me a new term: apoptosis. Neat photo capture! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi, Tink. I’m a bit late in visiting my Camera Critters friends, but just wanted to say how much I like this photo. Very interesting post!

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