Life Cycle of a Frog
Frogs are amphibians that live both on land and water. They have short bodies and smooth skin. They are excellent jumpers.
We often hear frogs before we see them. You cannot miss the croaking sound of frogs near ponds or in gardens.
Frogs undergo a transformation process called “Metamorphosis,” defining the four life cycle stages.
Let’s dive in and learn more about these four stages!
Stage 1: Egg
The first stage in the life cycle of a frog is an “egg.” The adult frog lays hundreds of tiny eggs.
- The eggs are clumped together and called frogspawn.
- They lay eggs during early Spring.
- You can find the eggs below the water surface among the vegetation.
Stage 2: Tadpole
The baby frog, called a tadpole, hatches in about 1 to 3 weeks.
- Tadpoles get their initial nourishment from the egg yolk
- They have gills, a mouth, and a long tail for swimming.
- The gills help them breathe underwater, just like a fish.
- Tadpoles eat plant material from the water.
Stage 3: Froglet
The tadpole develops into a young frog called the froglet over a 14-week period.
- First, the back legs grow, and then the front legs.
- The tail starts to shrink slowly.
- They develop lungs and eardrums as skin grows over the gills.
- The lungs help them breathe on land, just like humans.
Stage 4: Adult Frog
Adult frogs can live longer on land, and their diet changes.
- They eat more insects than vegetation.
- It takes four years for a frog to become fully mature.
- Adult frogs have long hind legs, which help them jump long distances.
The fully mature female can lay eggs of her own. The life cycle is complete at this stage.
There are over 6000 species of frogs!
- Frogs breathe through their skin in addition to their lungs.
- The world’s largest frog is the Goliath frog in West Africa, which can weigh up to 7 pounds (as much as a newborn baby).
- The wood frog can keep 65% of its body frozen to survive the winter in the Arctic Circle.
Let’s quickly recap what we learned about the life cycle of a frog:
- What is the group of frog eggs clumped together called? Frogspawn
- What do tadpoles eat? Plant material in the water
- What part of the tadpole starts to shrink as it grows into a froglet? Tail
- What is the main diet of an adult frog? Insects
- What are the adaptations that help frogs breathe on water and land? Gills to breathe under the water, and lungs to breathe on land