What’s inside a tadpole?

“Tadpoles are often some of the first wildlife that people encounter and remember; wriggling around in ponds and puddles, they evoke feelings of simpler days and times for people across walks of life and around the world. But when you really get to know tadpoles, you realize there is a lot more to them than simple little algae scrapers. This photo shows a 3D rendering of a large tadpole from Southeast Asia (Clinotarsus penelopi) created by a microCT scanner at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. Different organ systems are “segmented” out and colored manually to improve visibility, with the spiral guts in green, brain in pink, blood in red, and lungs in blue. Tadpoles, it turns out, are extremely diverse internally, with different muscle arrangements and respiratory organs. We are currently using these scans to understand the evolutionary and developmental relationships between lungs and hearts in tadpoles from around the world, but they will eventually be made public and used by anyone with an internet connection and an interest in what’s inside a tadpole.” – Jack Phillips

Thank you for sharing your photo with us, and this incredible new insight into these little animals, Jack!  Please follow Jack Phillips at @jack.outside on Instagram to see more of his wildlife photography, and check out the Wolab to see more of his research.

You May Also Like