Our pond had been welcoming a lot of frog (or toad) visitors each night since the monsoon started. Recently, I found what I am pretty sure were frog eggs on the edge of the pond: they were jelly-coated, but pretty small, and not spherical – sort of shaped like pomegranate arils.
When disturbed with a stick, one or two really tiny creatures came swimming out! They quite resembled tadpoles, just much, much smaller. Could they be undeveloped tadpoles? But what’s really surprising is how they could survive outside the egg, and even swim around! I’ve heard of tadpoles escaping from their eggs before hatching, but only in red-eyed tree frogs (which these are certainly not).
I caught one in a pipette (they’re that tiny!) and imaged it live under my Foldscope. And since most of it’s body was translucent, except for the head, I could see some movements inside the organism’s body! There was something that was thumping rhythmically (it was too deep down to be in proper focus) – could it be a heart?
There were also bubbles visibly circulating through its body, and another organ-like structure (Gills maybe? Or is this the heart?).
This is really curious, so please do post a comment if you have any guesses!
Update (July 25, 2021)
There are hundreds and hundreds of wild tadpoles in the pond now!