Tadpoles in the Pyrenees: how old?

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lyner

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Tadpoles in the Pyrenees: how old?
« on: 09/06/2009 14:22:37 »
I spent several weeks, over a few years, walking the GR10 route through the Pyrenees and frequently came across pools in streams at very high altitudes (2km+). In these pools I found enormous tadpoles - bigger than anything I have ever seen in the UK - as big as the end section of a thumb.
I later found that they are Natterjack Toad tadpoles and that they have such a short time when the temperature is high enough for them to grow and metamorphose. They delay metamorphosis for several years and wait until they are big enough to get to a reproductive stage Apparently they can wait up to five years!
I thought that was interesting.

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Offline LeeE

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Tadpoles in the Pyrenees: how old?
« Reply #1 on: 09/06/2009 20:21:25 »
I wonder if they are more or less vulnerable as tadpoles?
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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lyner

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Tadpoles in the Pyrenees: how old?
« Reply #2 on: 09/06/2009 22:09:20 »
I guess, as small frogs, they would be more vulnerable than as large taddies. As tadpoles, they can stay under water all the time.

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Offline LeeE

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Tadpoles in the Pyrenees: how old?
« Reply #3 on: 11/06/2009 13:30:22 »
...As tadpoles, they can stay under water all the time.

Good point.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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lyner

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Tadpoles in the Pyrenees: how old?
« Reply #4 on: 11/06/2009 23:48:19 »
They were savage little devils, too. They went for the hairs on my legs - just like some tiny fish do.

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Offline rosy

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Tadpoles in the Pyrenees: how old?
« Reply #5 on: 12/06/2009 10:06:51 »
Ooh, we saw some huge tadpoles in the Alps last summer (GR5A... stunning). They were in little pools that looked like they were going to dry out (and the whole pool was practically heaving with them... can't believe there was much in there to eat except each other).

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lyner

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Tadpoles in the Pyrenees: how old?
« Reply #6 on: 13/06/2009 10:54:30 »
I believe that tadpoles (sweet looking little things) can be cannibalistic. It's an efficient way of concentrating food by eating the herbivorous smaller ones. The selfish gene at work again!