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, showing the developing embryos within their transparent eggs. 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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