Life Cycle of a Frog illustrated:
Starting in the upper left corner, this is 1) with gills, 2) a little older, 3) underside, 4) side view, 5) with legs & arm buds, 6) with legs and arms, 7) with shorter tail, 8) froglet.


A Frog's Life: Metamorphosis page 3

4. The tadpole usually grows quickly, swimming around and eating algae or tiny organisms in the water.

5. Legs sprout from the tadpole's body, and the tadpole's tail becomes smaller, actually being absorbed into the body. The tadpole also develops lungs to allow it to breathe out of water.  Its intestines change from a long coiled gut to a short gut, to accommodate the change in diet from a grazing tadpole to a meat-eating frog.  It is thought during metamorphosis that the immune system is largely shut down to accommodate all the physical changes.  Tadpoles are especially susceptible to disease and parasite attacks at this time.

6. Many tadpoles are eaten by fish, birds or other frogs -- but the ones that survive these early stages continue their transformation into adult frogs that can move out of the water and live on land.

7. In the spring, adult frogs move into the water again to mate and the cycle starts all over again.






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