Tidepool Chorus Frogs

We walk along the rocky shore at the edge of the Pacific Ocean hoping to see critters in the pools formed above the waterline. Barnacles have their feathery appendages out catching plankton from waves washing over. 

 
 Barnacles catching plankton.

Barnacles catching plankton.

Higher up we find pools filled with freshwater that flows in from a creek. Ribbons of green algae provide shelter and food for hundreds of tadpoles just on the verge of metamorphoses. 

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Tadpoles move upside-down along the surface of the water eating algae. Froglets with legs and a long tail sit perched on the algae with just their faces sticking out. They will only stay a in this shallow pool for a little longer before moving to their adult habitat further from the ocean.  These are Chorus Frogs,  Pseudacris sierra, one of the most common frogs found in California as they inhabit a variety of habitats from grasslands to forests. Females lay anywhere from 400-700 eggs in clusters in slow-moving or still water. 

 A creek fills small pools with freshwater along the coast.

A creek fills small pools with freshwater along the coast.

 These pools are home to hundreds of tadpoles.

These pools are home to hundreds of tadpoles.

 A newly transformed frog,   Pseudacris sierra.

A newly transformed frog, Pseudacris sierra.

 How many frogs can you spot here?

How many frogs can you spot here?

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Although seeing these little frogs isn’t a surprise, seeing them so close to the ocean was amazing.

 A sea slug called a nudibranch we spotted in the saltwater tidepools.

A sea slug called a nudibranch we spotted in the saltwater tidepools.

Audra BarriosComment