July 20th: This tadpole has some serious leg action happening.
July 23rd: I obsessively watch this tadpole. He does not breathe any air. He does not eat anything. His tadpole intestines are probably busy becoming frog intestines, and he is actually living off his tail!! I worry that he will need to breathe air overnight. I give him a net to climb onto if he wants.
July 24th early morning: The tadpole is sitting above the water on the net!! The tadpole’s tail is almost gone in 12 hours/the tadpole is no longer a tadpole!!!! It is a MIRACLE.
July 24th evening: This Happy Camper (2) is even FROGGIER!!! And because I love him and want him to be able to eat now that his intestines might be ready to eat flies and bugs and other non-tadpole/vegan options, I let him go on a lily pad in the pond where he was born.
I would love to keep him longer- I am not sure if he is a Gray Treefrog or a Wood Frog or something else altogether, and this might become clearer with time. Many live 3 years and do a lot more growing as young frogs. His siblings are all still straight-up legless tadpoles (so are they definitely siblings…???) but maybe two of my friends will raise one of them? Maybe they will name him Happy Camper 3? Just an idea 😉
Meanwhile, here is one captive animal that WILL NOT die on my watch. He is a FREE FROG!!!!!!!!