Scientists Discover Tadpoles That Burrow Underground Until They're Frogs

July 22, 2016


Because Mother Nature should have been quietly committed to a rest home eons ago, biologists in India have confirmed a species of frog whose tadpoles actually burrow underground instead of swimming around in water like giant sperms. Growing up in West Virginia we used to call tadpoles pollywogs and we'd catch them in the creek between home and the coal mine.

Micrixalus herrei, one of a number of "dancing frogs" in India, spends its days in fast-moving streams. It gets its name from the fact that it extends its arms and legs in a sort of stylized dance as a way to get the attention of potential mates.

[Its] tadpoles live an "entirely fossorial life," meaning they spend their entire youth burrowing and only emerge onto land once they've achieved their adult forms. As they burrow, they take in sand and digest the organic matter within it.

Mmmm, nothing like eating sand. You know I was babysitting my niece a couple months ago and we were playing in the sandbox and she picked up a handful of sand and was about to put it in her mouth and I thought to myself, "Holy shit -- she doesn't know not to do that!" and then, "Well, she has to learn somehow." She ugly cried for so long.

Keep going for a video about the tadpoles.

Thanks to, who I'm not entirely sure knows which information to put in which box when sending a tip.

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