A Beginner’s Guide to the Frog Life Cycle

tadpole to frog life cycle

Frogs typically lay their eggs in placid water among vegetation, where the eggs are covered in a jelly-like substance to keep them moist and protect them.

Once a tadpole hatches, it resembles more closely that of a fish than of a frog and features gills to enable underwater breathing and to facilitate feeding on plants like algae and other forms of vegetation.


Frogs lay their eggs in water, which hatch into tadpoles. Within days, these hatchlings begin metamorphosing into full-grown frogs through morphogenesis – an incredible process which takes 11 weeks for every tadpole that transforms. Froglets eventually develop hind legs while losing their tail which becomes integrated into their bodies as it’s absorbed. They leave the water altogether but continue swimming occasionally!

After hatching, each egg experiences multiple cell divisions through cleavage; this occurs because animal hemisphere of an egg grows faster than vegetal hemisphere of egg (see Figure 2.2E-H). As cells divide, fluid accumulates inside it creating an inner chamber known as blastocoel which eventually creates the body for its new resident and grows outward until covering their head ( see Figure 2.2F-G ). Gills and tail are then used for swimming purposes.

A tadpole must adapt its body for life as an adult frog in its new environments, changing its metabolism, intestines, and tail shape accordingly. Additionally, its diet should shift away from plants towards insects and small fish, helping it become carnivorous amphibian.

As a tadpole grows, it also becomes much larger than its parents were, helping it compete for mates and find suitable breeding habitats – for instance, some breed in temporary pools while others breed along mountain streams year-round.

As it transitions from swimming in water to crawling on land, its body transforms as the tadpole develops lungs for breathing air and changes its gills accordingly. Shortening of its tail allows it to do this more easily. As it matures further it starts looking more and more like an adult frog and its skin darkens from living off land instead of water.

Tadpoles that cannot breathe will die; therefore froglets will need some additional time for growth and change to occur before leaving their habitats and mating with others to produce eggs that will then hatch back into tadpoles again.


Within weeks of hatching frog eggs, small creatures known as tadpoles emerge. Completely aquatic, tadpoles consume algae, decaying vegetation and other tiny water organisms as they feed off of them for sustenance while breathing through their gills; eventually as their metamorphosis into frogs begins, their internal organs begin demanding proteins only available from larger creatures like fish and amphibians; at which point tadpoles become carnivorous and will consume any animal matter that they find; no matter whether live or dead!

At the same time as losing its tail, tadpoles start developing lungs at the back of their bodies. Once their lungs have fully developed, tadpoles typically swim to the surface of their water habitat to gulp air into them and get enough oxygen to complete their transformation into frogs.

In this period, tadpole eyes will also experience drastic transformation. From being sideways-directed, they will begin to open into larger eyes that provide 360 degree views of its environment. Furthermore, its jaw will grow rows of teeth that resemble rasps for scraping algae off rocks and plants.

At this stage, the tadpole’s intestine will gradually shorten from being 10x the length of its body to about half as long. As its size decreases, its digestive process will become faster; to help this along further, mucus is produced as part of this process and absorbs food and other substances more readily.

Once its lungs have developed fully, a tadpole will begin developing front legs before going on to develop hind legs. Along with these physical changes comes its metabolism changing from herbivorous to carnivorous. Furthermore, its intestinal system transitions from being coiling-shaped to straight. At this point in its lifecycle, tadpoles begin taking in more protein by eating smaller fish or amphibians.


As soon as the eggs hatch, a larva known as a tadpole emerges. Resembling more like a fish than a frog with its fish-like appearance and equipped with gills for breathing underwater, this aquatic larva begins feeding off algae and other plant life to get energy; eventually its body grows larger to develop lungs for breathing air while in water; its hind legs become visible, leading it towards more of an amphibian form but still featuring its tail.

Once a tadpole reaches maturity, its gills drop away and it begins eating meat. Meanwhile, its digestive system transforms, with its former use as teeth to tear apart aquatic vegetation becoming flexible tongues to catch insects; and the large intestine used for digesting herbivorous food shrunk back down again – becoming one that can move between water and land environments more freely than before. Now the young frog has evolved completely into an organism capable of living both underwater and on land environments.

As part of the transition process from tadpole to frog, it is crucial that their habitat remains clean. Aim to alter it at least every week by using either the cup provided or another small container that allows your tadpole to remain within while you withdraw and add new water sources into its tank.

Once transformed into a frog, its eyes expand to provide it with full field of vision, its tiny lungs have matured into fully formed ones and can now be seen under its skin, its tail is absorbed back into its body and its gills are shed as more time is spent on land than underwater; diet diversifies further with larger plants and insects as it begins to look more and more like its adult form; when matured it lays its own eggs which are fertilised by male frogs before beginning again the cycle over and over again; unlike most animals that tend to breed annually at one particular site so as to maintain population levels and keep their population levels within reach.


Once fertilized, amphibian eggs hatch into aquatic-dwelling tadpoles that thrive in their aquatic environment – lacking legs but using gills for respiration and feeding on underwater plants. As these aquatic creatures transform into adults they undergo metamorphosis or change to adapt for life on land; this takes 12-16 weeks as a complete process of transformation.

Tadpoles shed their horny teeth used to tear apart aquatic vegetation, as their digestive systems shift from being herbivorous to carnivorous; large intestines shorten and widen into an insect-catching tongue; lung development begins, partially out of water climb begins, as does reproduction; when reaching reproductive maturity they start laying more eggs.

Frogs have many ways of caring for their young, such as keeping the eggs moist by placing them in burrows of damp soil or sitting them in shallow pools of water until they hatch. Some frogs even carry them around attached to strings on their legs or subdermally!

Once tadpoles reach reproductive maturity, they pair off and fertilize one another’s eggs by mating with them. Once these hatch, tadpoles transform into larvae called froglets which eventually become adult frogs.

Researchers conducted a comprehensive investigation of tadpole body size, finding that genetic and environmental influences on growth are additive and highly heritable, with survival of metamorphosis also heritable. Furthermore, body shape of tadpoles was shown to be determined by maternal ancestry as well as temperature of water that they are born into.

In other words, tadpoles with larger mothers and those in warmer waters tend to grow larger and live longer. Their larger mothers produce more offspring with normal lungs that enable them to breathe fresh air on land instead of needing as much liquid from drinking sources like their smaller cousins do. Furthermore, larger tails and reduced lung volumes could aid in keeping body heat warm; long tails could even help them avoid predators when transitioning onto land from water environments.

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