of frogs and toads
place about six days
after fertilization. The Larvae of frogs and toads are
called tadpoles. As tadpoles live like fish they breathe with gills. About
eight days after hatching tadpoles feed on algae and beginn to swim actively.
tadpoles feed on plants. Four-week-old
tadpoles have a long, coiled gut to extract as
much nourishment as possible from their poor diet. Tadpoles are active social
animals and may school like fish.
six and nine weeks, the hind legs appear. Metamorphosis
beginns. The body grows longer, the head region becomes more distinct. Their diet
may include dead insects as well as plants now. After
nine weeks the tadpole looks more like a miniature frog with a long tail.
Front legs have been growing. They switch to feed on small larvae of insects and
other very small animals. During
the last days of Metamorphisis the tadpoles
tail is gradually absorbed. The little frogs and toads start breathing
with their lungs. They will leave the ponds in a few days.
Spring (sometimes there is still some snow) frogs
and toads mate in the ponds where they were born.
frogs and toads need water for reproduction. The male sings his 'song'
to attract the females. The male clasps the female in a tight
mating embrace, called amplexus. Frog
spawn (the eggs) is(are) laid
in 'clumps' - sometimes there are some thousands of eggs.
-2011; drawing by Susann Rautenberg, www.whose-tadpole.net
spawn (toad eggs) is(are) laid
- sometimes several meters long.