Monday, April 5, 2010

Hatchlings (day 12)...

Over the last days the basic form of the tadpoles has stayed the same but there seems to be an increasing complexity to their behavior patterns.  They clearly seem to be aware of the other tadpoles and no longer behave as individuals alone in the world.  Frequently there are clusters of 2 to 6 little ones that for short amounts of time move as a group.  A few have become territorial and push encroaching tadpoles away.

They are becoming larger and wider and much more agile swimmers.

The movement of the pigmented cells has continued and some parts of the tadpole seem to be changing in a different way now.  Rather than only adding new tissue, it is clear than some tissues are being sacrificed for the destined body form.  Around the eye this is the most apparent right now as a space seems to be forming around the eye giving the first hints at the socket that will be present int he adult.  There is no evidence that the eyes can move independently yet but they are clearly aware of more complex visual stimuli and so I suspect the lens and retinal structures are gaining complexity as well.