Friday, June 27, 2008

Nature Quiz #001


This photo was taken in early June in the De Soto National Forest in southern Mississippi. Anyone care to guess what is depicted, and how this pattern came to be? Answer to be posted later...

Update: Kiirsten (see comments) from Ontario (wow!) is right that the little guys are "toadpoles"--probably Bufo terrestris. Click on the image for more detail. But it's a drying puddle in a clay-sand road, not more than 6 feet across. I don't think wave action is responsible for the honeycomb effect. Getting warmer...

UPDATE 07-07: And the answer is...
The little craters are made by tadpoles in the evaporating puddle. The substrate is silty sand. I have no idea why they do this, only to somehow escape into deeper water, but you can see a couple of dead ones that got trapped.

2 comments:

kiirstin said...

Can I guess in the comments? Here I go: It looks like what up here (in Ontario) would be called a "vernal pool", a transitory spring damp spot where amphibians congregate to mate and lay eggs. The little guys in the photo look like toadpoles to me, but I'm not familiar with Mississipi toads. Also, I have no idea whether this little pool will dry up later in the summer or not...

As to the pattern... is it wave action that forms it? There are lots of patterns like that in limestone along the shores of Georgian Bay.

This blog is wonderful, by the way. I really enjoy it. Thanks!

Jimmy said...

Hey Mark
Sure those aren't "Bronze frogs"
They are mighty bronze colored.
Just kiddin
Cool picture though!