Frog tadpole breathing air at pond surface

Frog tadpole breathing air at pond surface

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Credit: CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Maturing tadpole of the European edible frog, Rana esculenta, breathing air at the surface of a pond, using its newly-developed lungs. Eggs are laid in early summer and hatch after about a week. After hatching the young tadpoles remain attached to the gelatinous egg envelopes while further development occurs; a membrane grows over the external gills, the eyes become functional, the mouth & anus break through and the tail elongates. The larvae finally develop into free-swimming tadpoles, which feed mainly on algae. Gradually the legs & lungs develop & the gills & tail degenerate until the tadpoles leave the water as fully-formed frogs.

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Keywords: amphibian, animal, baby, frog, life cycle of, nature, of rana esculenta, rana esculenta, tadpole, wildlife, zoology

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