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.