While children have far few years of life experience compared to adults, there are some things that are usually better known by youngsters simply because they are out and about in nature, immersing themselves in all that life has to offer.
If you can guess what the image below is, than you must’ve had one of those childhoods that involved tromping through the woods and standing knee-deep in muddied waters, all on a mission to catch the creatures that are so fascinating.
If you guessed that the above photo is of a cluster of tadpole eggs, than you are correct. And if you know the steps involved in the life cycle of a frog, then we applaud you. If not, you are about to learn what goes on from the time a frog is part of a cluster of eggs, until it is a full grown adult.
Frogs, which fall under the amphibian category, have webbed feet, four legs, and they breathe through their lungs and gills. Another little trivia is that the word “amphibian,” means “two lives.” Frogs fall under this category because they spend half of their lives in both the water and on land. While they are born in water, they end up spending a good amount of time on living on land, however; they must always be by a small body of water such as a pond or a swamp because they need water to survive. Instead of drinking water, a frog soaks in a pool of water to attain hydration. If a frog’s skin dries out, it will die. While they breathe in through their nostrils, they also absorb nearly half the air that they need through their skin.
One of the many interesting fact about frogs is that they can see forward, sideways and upward all at the same time and they keep their eyes open even while they sleep. They have a sticky tongue that is used for catching and swallowing food. Their athletic back legs allows them to jump up while sticking their tongue out to capture bugs.
Because frogs are cold-blooded, their bodies are the same temperature as the air around them and they make adjustments to stay comfortable. For example, if they are too cold, they will lay in the sun and if they are too warm they will cool off in the water.
In order to mate, the male frog grabs the female frog underneath in a position that is called amplexus. The frogs can be in this position for several days. As the female lays the eggs, the male frog fertilizes them. These eggs come out in masses and are known as “frog spawn.” Some frog parents take off after the eggs are released, and others stick around to watch over them.
As the mass of frog spawn is released it forms a jelly-like covering that serves as a means of protection. While there are tons of eggs floating around at one time, only few actually develop into full grown adult frogs because ducks, fish and other water creatures eat them.
The life of a frog begins as a tadpole. You can actually witness the tadpole forming inside the egg, and when it is big enough, it eats its way through the protective jelly. This usually happens after 21 days.
When the tadpole is first hatched, it eats plants to survive and it soon gets bigger and grows teeth. After five weeks the tadpole begins to grow hind legs and fore legs. After eleven weeks, the frog loses its tail and it becomes an adult frog where it is soon searching for a mate. From there, the whole process begins again.