Michael Ellis

Send your questions to atn@baynature.org.Santa Rosa-based naturalist Michael Ellis leads nature trips throughout the world with Footloose Forays (footlooseforays.com).

Ask the Naturalist: Where Are the Chorus Frog Babies?

 • 

Q: I collect rainwater to use on my garden and I’ve found Pacific chorus frogs in the black garbage can that collects the rainwater, but I’ve never seen eggs or tadpoles in there. I wonder why not; would they be too small to see? [Marian, San Jose]

Barnacles above water. Photo by KQED Quest

How do barnacles make baby barnacles?

 • 

Barnacles are hermaphroditic – they contain both male and female sex organs. You’re thinking, “Well, they always have a date on Saturday night.” No, it’s a really bad idea to self-fertilize: Inbreeding results in little genetic diversity. Worms, slugs, snails – slow-moving animals with low rates of encounter – are all hermaphroditic. And you could not get any slower than an adult barnacle!