A flock of tadpoles

November 5, 2012 • 1:30 pm

by Matthew Cobb

This amazing picture was on Current Biology’s Facebook page (hi, Florian!), and they took it from National Geographic. Click to embiggen – it is glorious.

Photographer Eiko Jones said, “While photographing lilies in a local swamp a cloud of tadpoles swam by numbering in the thousands, all following along in a trail.”

29 thoughts on “A flock of tadpoles

  1. It’s from October week 3 on the NatGeo site linked above.

    I found Eiko’s site which has a slightly more detailed caption with the image. There are many other images taken at the same place and from other photo shoots as well.

    It was taken in Cedar Lake near Campbell River, BC. The rows are caused by pilings that were part of an old log sort facility.

    The water clarity is astounding.

      1. The worst sunburn I ever got was from the hours spent on my belly on a raft on Quaker Road pond with my face in the water.

    1. As I said above, there are logs on the bottom, according to the photographer.

      More photos and info here

      Just how a log sorting operation leaves them on the bottom in parallel rows, I’m not so sure. The closest I can come to explaining it, is that they place large logs like that sloping out of the water to act as a ramp. Maybe those were bracing the sloping ones or just preventing the logs they were handling from getting stuck in the bottom mud.

      Kinda weird, huh?

  2. β€œWhile photographing lilies in a local swamp, a cloud of tadpoles swam by numbering in the thousands, all following along in a trail.”

    Who knew tadpoles were such skilled photographers?

  3. I wonder if the collective noun “flock” is the most appropriate for tadpoles…

    The only one I could find after a short google search was “a cloud of tadpoles”, which isn’t too bad, but doesn’t seem to do this magnificent photo justice.

    In the tradition of James Lipton’s great book on collective nouns, “An Exaltation of Larks”, perhaps there should be a small contest.

    I’ll start off with “a drift of tadpoles”.

    1. I like a “cloud of tadpoles”–and of course that’s the term he uses. As James Lipton points out in his wonderful book, many of these venereal terms are well established, with long history.

      1. Sex rearing its ugly head? Aah – Google search explains. For anyone else puzzled by this obscure usage, google “terms of venery”.

  4. And I have a new desktop wallpaper.

    I love the color and light in the photo. It been a long time since art history, but it reminds me of art noveau.

Leave a Reply