Goliath, an invasive bullfrog tadpole plucked from an Arizona pond, could be the largest larval leaper-to-be ever recorded.

Monster Tadpole Bigger Than Coke Can Is The Real Thing

Bullfrogs are not native to the American southwest, and programs are underway to drain ponds so native species can be reintroduced after bullfrogs and/or their tadpoles have been removed. Alina Downer, a volunteer helping the American Museum of Natural History's Southwestern Research Station (SWRS) net a drained pond in southern Arizona when she felt something bump her leg.

She thought it was a fish but closer inspection (after it was netted) proved it was a humongous tadpole! She showed the wriggling amphibian to other SWRS members who immediately named it “Goliath”.  

Monster Tadpole Bigger Than Coke Can Is The Real Thing

Good on the SWRS team members and volunteers for not dispatching Goliath forthwith; instead he (or she – tadpoles can't be sexed easily) was placed in a water-filled travel container and delivered to the SWRS station in Portal, Arizona. Dr. Michele Lanan (above, with Goliath and a banana... wait, what?), the station's Resident Research Scientist, installed Goliath in a private 25-gallon tank.

After discussing the prodigious pollywog with several amphibian experts, Dr. Lanan believes Goliath suffers from a hormonal imbalance that's preventing him from metamorphosing into an adult bullfrog. In fact, he could be as much as three years old, and could grow even larger as time goes by. That is, however, unless his larval circulatory and respiratory systems can't support his growth, causing him to... croak. (via Living Alongside Wildlife and Earyn McGee)

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