J.C. REVY, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J.C. REVY, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light micrograph of a frog tadpole. When the embryo has wriggled free of its egg membranes it swims for a short while. It then attaches itself to a water-weed or a stone by means of a sticky secretion of glands in its oral sucker. Continued development of its eyes, gills, mouth and gut allow it to swim freely and to feed on vegetation. It cannot live out of water at this stage. After several weeks limb buds begin to appear, and the tadpole comes to the surface frequently to take gulps of air as the lungs begin to develop. After many further changes to the body organs, circulation and appearance it is recognisable as a frog, and ready to leave the water.
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