Ponds are small areas where streams or creeks have made depressions in the earth. Water collects in these and makes small bodies of water that small animals live in. Plants grow from water that trickles in from other places, carrying seeds and eggs. These eggs grow into frogs, salamanders, small fish and other small forms of life. It is a living world of it's own with small animals living and dying. Some occasionally will move on to another nearby body of water, and life starts over again there.
One of the main animals that can be found in ponds is frogs. They develop from eggs that are laid in the pond. When the eggs hatch, they are not quite frogs yet. They go through a stage of being a tadpole first. The tadpole's diet consists of algae which is found in the pond. Once the tadpole begins to develop into a frog, the gills slowly disappear. While this is happening, the lungs are being developed to replace them. When the tadpole finally develops completely, it becomes a frog.
Turtles are another pond animal that are usually hard to spot. They live in the tall grasses and drop into the water quickly when disturbed. They live on algae and insects when they are small. But when they are larger they will eat small fish, crayfish, snails and even small plants.
Snakes like to be near ponds because of the abundance of food they can find. They can actually devastate a small pond by killing off animals that live there. Some snakes are found in the water, and these snakes eat animals such as rats, mice, lizards, fish, crayfish, birds and turtles.
Small fish play an important role in the life of a pond. The fish eat insects that could overrun the pond. They eat plants and the eggs of animals, helping to to control the population of frogs and salamanders that could also over take the pond. The droppings of the fish help the algae and plants that are in and around the pond grow. Ponds can have small fish like Minnows, or it can house larger fish, such as Bluegill.
Insects are considered animals as well, and the larvae live in the ponds and grow. They eat smaller organisms and algae that live in the ponds. Mosquitoes are not a welcomed insect, but they are found in ponds and provide food for larger animals. Dragonflies lay their eggs in ponds and when the larvae hatch, they live in the pond. The larvae of the dragonfly feed on smaller pond life including the mosquito larvae.
The pond is an important part of the ecosystem, allowing life to travel by water from one place to another using them. The pond provides a temporary place for life to grow and mature before it moves on. It provides a source of water for other animals such as birds, coyotes and deer. It also helps to feed other animals by providing fertile soil from droppings for seeds to grow into plants. At first glance, a pond is just a small body of water. But as you look deeper, it has a more useful and complicated purpose.