5/9/2011-The park next to my daughter's school has a lovely creek running through it. It's great for exploration! Using an old water bottle, we collected a number of tadpoles to take home. I wanted a lot because I wasn't sure how many would survive.
We found the water bottle to be too small for our experiment, so we moved onto a recycled juice bottle. We kept a 2nd juice bottle for collecting additional creek water and moss.
We have worked hard to change the moss and the creek water at least once a week. This provides a cleaner environment and fresh micro-organisms for our little creatures.
One of our tadpoles.
Besides tadpoles, we have a number of snails living in our terrarium, amongst other things you can't see with the camera. The snails hide in the moss, so every time I bring home fresh moss, I bring home a bunch of new snails too. Some are close to the size of our tadpoles and some are as tiny as the head of a pin. When all the frogs are released, I will also release the snails back into the wild.
6/10/2011- After weeks of waiting, our first frog appears! He was about the size of my thumb tip.
6/12/2011- Here's our frog in our portable container for terrarium cleaning. Unfortunately we lost this frog. I didn't release him fast enough, so for many different reasons I'm sure, he passed away.
6/20/2011-Ten days later we have two more frogs!
It's amazing how they change over night. The day prior he was still swimming with the other tadpoles!
6/20/2011- I wasn't taking any chances with the two new frogs! My parents asked if we could release the frogs into their ponds, so we did. They both quickly swam off to hide.
Soon after being released, this little frog decided to check out his new home. I think he'll be very happy here. A natural setting but less predators!
What the children and I learned:
- It's a lot of work taking care of such small creatures! It really became a hassle changing the water once a week because I had to hike to a deeper point in the creek so I could fill the bottle easily.
- Tadpoles are hearty. I didn't count how many we started with because I added to the bottle several times, but we didn't seem to loose very many. I still have 10 or so in the bottle waiting to change.
- The frogs need to be released right away! I don't know if our first one died from needing different food or because the tadpoles ate him. Either way, I won't take that chance again and I wouldn't suggest you do either. These frogs are very tiny so trying to catch them bugs isn't as easy as it sounds.
- Nature is not always kind. If the tadpoles didn't eat the frog before he died, they sure did afterwards!