The Baby Frog Life Cycle!
Frogs are fascinating creatures. They’re born as tiny tadpoles, grow into frogs, and eventually turn into adults again. And it takes about 20 years for a frog to reach maturity. But what happens during those 20 years? Watch this video to learn everything you ever wanted to know about the frog life cycle.
The frog life cycle
Frogs begin life as tiny eggs, about the size of a pinhead, floating in ponds or lakes. They hatch within days and develop rapidly. After around three weeks, the young tadpole begins to change shape, growing longer tails and smaller heads. At five weeks old, the tadpole becomes a miniature version of itself, with long skinny arms and legs. This is known as the ‘tadpole’ phase.
After another few weeks, the tadpole changes again, developing webbed feet and becoming a small frog. After six months, the frog reaches sexual maturity and starts breeding.
Stage 1: Extraordinary eggs
When it comes to finding frog spawn, there are three stages of development. Stage one is extraordinary. In this stage, the little egg sacs are formed. They look like normal tadpoles, except that they’re much smaller and don’t have tails.
The second stage is where things start getting really interesting. At this stage, the eggs develop into “extraordinary” eggs. These are what we call “fairy rings”. A fairy ring looks very similar to a tadpole, but it’s actually much larger. When you find a fairy ring, you’ll notice that it’s surrounded by a circular area of water that’s about five times deeper than the rest of the pond.
In the third stage, the fairy rings break up into individual eggs, which are called “individuals.” These individuals are small and round, and have no tail.
Stage 2: Teeny tadpoles!
The process begins when the eggs hatch and the tiny creatures emerge from the mother frog’s body, still inside her belly sac. She carries them around for about 3 weeks, feeding them with nutrients found in her milk. During this period, she keeps them warm and protected from predators. When it’s time to let them out, she releases them into the pond.
Now, the baby frogs are called tadpoles. They have gills, mouth, and a longtail, which they need for floating and swimming. Their legs don’t develop until later in life.
They spend the next few months growing and developing, learning how to eat, swim, and breathe air. At some point during this process, they start to look like frogs.
Stage 3: Fully-grown frog!
Frogs grow up fast. In just three months, tadpoles turn into baby frogs, and those little guys become fully-fledged adults.
Ecologists Found a Seriously Huge Tadpole!
The team found a 10-inch long amphibian in the middle of the pond. This was the biggest tadpole ever found in the region.
Normally, baby frogs are small animals. However, in the Chiricahue Mountains in Arizona, ecologist found a record-breakingly huge bullfrog tadpole measuring about 10 inches long.
After draining the pond, researchers took samples from the mud and soil beneath the surface. They analyzed the DNA of the tadpole and determined it belonged to a species called Rana pirica.
Rana pirica is typically found in ponds and lakes across North America. However, the species hasn’t been spotted in the area since the 1980s.
Ecologists believe the tadpole came from a nearby lake. If the same thing happens again, scientists could discover even larger specimens.
Gastric-brooding Frogs Have Stomachs for Wombs
Gastric-brooding frogs are one of the most bizarre species of animals on Earth. They live in the rainforests of Central America and South America. These tiny frogs have some pretty interesting reproductive habits. For starters, they don’t just lay their eggs in the water; they actually eat them.
After laying her eggs, the female frog eats them. She does this because she doesn’t want to waste energy caring for the eggs while they’re still developing. Instead, she takes them into her mouth and swallows them whole, where they’ll develop inside her body.
Once the eggs are fully developed, the female lays them outside of her body, usually near the nest. Once the eggs are laid, the mother frog leaves the nest and goes about her day. But wait…that’s not it.
The baby frogs stay inside their mother’s stomach for up to six months. During this period, the mother frog feeds the babies every few days. This ensures that the young frogs receive enough nutrients to grow properly.
When they’re finally ready to emerge, the mother frog opens her esophagus, allowing the tadpoles to escape and swim away.
The Brazilian Gold Baby Frog is Incredibly Tiny
The Brazilian gold froglet is one of the tiniest amphibians on Earth. Measuring just over half an inch long, the little critter weighs less than 0.5 grams.
While most amphibian species grow larger during metamorphosis, the Brazilian gold froglet stays small throughout its life cycle. A female lays up to 200 eggs, each weighing around 0.1 gram, in watery nests located near streams and rivers.
Once the tadpoles hatch, they spend about three weeks growing into nymphs. At this stage, the young frogs feed off algae and bacteria while developing legs and tails. After another week, the nymphs transform into adults, shedding their skin and emerging fully formed as adults.
Golden Poison Froglets are Deadly
Poison frogs are known for being poisonous, but golden poison froglets are even deadlier. These little guys are just 3 inches long, but they pack quite a punch. They’re covered in potent neurotoxins that cause paralysis.
Golden Poison froglets live in South America, where they are found in rainforests. They eat insects and spiders. But they don’t like it when something gets too close. If someone tries to pick up one, they’ll bite off his hand.
The toxin is called batrachotoxin and it causes muscle contractions, heart problems, respiratory failure, seizures, and death. So if you see a bunch of golden poison froglets, run away fast!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a baby frog called?
Depending on its stage of development, a baby frog can be called many different things. Baby frogs are called tadpoles or polliwogs because they swim in the water. During their transformation into baby frogs, they are called froglets.
How much do baby frogs weigh?
Baby frogs vary in weight depending on their species. There are some froglets that weigh as little as .0003 ounces. In contrast, the biggest frogs can reach seven pounds or more!
What do baby frogs eat?
Tadpoles spend much of their time eating to gain weight and transform into a froglet. They learn to eat by scraping against aquatic plants and one of their favorite foods is algae. Froglets, on the other hand, enjoy a more plentiful diet. They enjoy small insects such as ants, fruit flies, mosquitoes, and other small insects.
Where do baby frogs live?
A baby frog lives in a wet environment, such as a riverbank, since they are amphibians. In addition, they prefer wetlands, streams, and ponds. It is even possible for them to live in seasonal pools!