Why Surface for Air?

Observations of tadpoles in a local pond

Two days ago, while driving my eldest daughter and a friend to morning swim practice, we ran across, but not over, a rather large snapping turtle crossing the road.  This happened just east of Mission Road on 71st Street in Shawnee Misson, Kansas (it appears that he may have grown up in Indian Hills County Club).  Although the turtle appears to have lived quite a productive live to that moment, we figured that we might increase its life span by moving him somewhere a little bit less populated.

Yesterday, my two younger children and I, released our find in a wetland area adjacent to the Blue River in southern Johnson County.  While there, I treated my kids to one of the ponds I frequent with students when I am teaching about amphibians.  Here is an interesting observation that we made…

A quick google search this morning suggests that field biologist may not fully understand this behavior, and not for lack of thoughtful consideration and experimentation.  I know that school is out and that critical observations and experimentation are dependent on the life cycle of an organism who doesn’t realize that, but I share this observation none-the-less, for its potential…

…and if you want to ID the tadpoles you can do that too…



Author: Eric Kessler

I am a high school teacher in the Blue Valley School District who has taught a Bioscience Research course at the district's Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) since 2010. Previous to this teaching gig I was at Blue Valley North High School where I taught freshman Biology and Honors Biology, Field Biology, Zoology, and AP Biology for the past 18 years.