More rain. It must be spring: frog weather. A newly emerged young bullfrog appeared on the Plaza Pond at Ijams. Just a few weeks ago it was a tadpole living completely under the surface but it was time to move on—it happens to us all—and sample life above the water.
But before it could do that, it had to grow four legs, develop lungs and lose its tail. That’s a lot. The tail does not just simply fall off, that would be a waste. Instead, the young frog absorbed its tail, as the days passed, it grew shorter and shorter until, poof, the tail was gone.
Human embryos have a tail that measures about one-sixth of the size of the embryo itself. As the embryo develops into a fetus, the tail is also absorbed by the growing body. The developmental tail is thus a human vestigial structure; no longer needed. Called a coccyx the human tailbone is attached to the pelvis, in the same place which other mammals have tails. (I glance down at the dog; her tail seems to be always wagging. It's a convenient way to judge her mood.)
I wonder if the frog misses its tail. I miss mine; it would be so handy for carrying in the groceries.