Gardening for Wildlife forum: polliwog or tadpole?

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Apr 5, 2016 9:27 PM CST
My friend brought his two young grandkids over today to take home some frog egg sacs to watch the transformation to frogs. Classic kid project, and the boys were very excited. Which brought up the question - tadpoles or polliwogs? My oldest son told me I taught them that they were polliwogs until they grew legs then they were tadpoles. I have no memory of this and must have said it off the cuff, as I believe the names are interchangeable. He, however, remains convinced this is gospel truth (never underestimate the power of mom...) What do others call these little critters?
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Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
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JuneOntario
Apr 6, 2016 8:16 AM CST
I've always just called them tadpoles, but I believe polliwog is an alternative name for the same thing. A polliwog growing legs is just a polliwog on its way to becoming a frog!
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Apr 7, 2016 1:17 PM CST
For some reason, I think of "polliwog" as being the larger ones... like bullfrog tad's. I use the names pretty much interchangeably though! My daughter (6) sticks with "tadpole."
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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Apr 14, 2016 9:09 AM CST
I'm thinking the same thing, remembering as a child we called the the little fish polliwogs and tadpoles when they got legs.

I just asked my dh the difference between a polliwog and a tadpole. He answered, "legs", but then he said it the opposite, polliwog-legs; tadpole-no legs.

So, I had to research further and it seems both names have the same meaning. Looking back, it wouldn't be the first time I was misinformed as a child. Hilarious! Hilarious!

I looked up "Tadpole" and here's what it says on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tadpole
And this is interesting here about the origin of the word: http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2012/05/tadpole-pollywog.h...

Do you remember being told that a Daddy-Long-Leg spider is the most poisonous spider and that it's mouth is too small to bite a human? Not true. They aren't even poisonous at all.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Apr 14, 2016 9:42 AM CST
It may also be a regional thing. I rather like the progression of egg sac-polliwog-tadpole-frog and will stick to it. What I found interesting is my tiny preformed pond has a couple of tiny egg sacs in it (about 2" in circumference) while my large farm pond has huge egg sacs (6" or more). Guess the frogs have a sense of what the habitat will support.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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