CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Macrophotograph of a mass of frogspawn from the European edible frog, Rana esculenta. The development of the embryos within the transparent eggs takes 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 begin to develop and the gills and tail degenerate until the tadpoles leave the water as fully-formed frogs.
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