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Frogs live most of their lives unnoticed by most humans, coming to mind only when they emerge from hibernation to sing their mating calls. But whether we notice or not, the cycle of mating and hibernation encompasses the frog's life for years -- and sometimes decades -- at a time.
A frog emerges from one of up to 4,000 eggs laid by his mother in a jellylike substance where it develops into a tadpole. Most tadpoles get gobbled up by predators before they've fully metamorphosed into frogs at 12 to 14 weeks of age. The half-dozen or so of the tadpoles from the original 4,000 eggs that survive to adulthood might live 5 to 8 years in the wild, emerging from dens to produce offspring of their own by the time they're 3 years old.
Small tree frogs kept as pets can enjoy longer lives if you're willing to provide ideal conditions for the tiny Chihuahua sound-alikes. White's tree frogs (Litoria caerulea) commonly live to 16 years when kept indoors, the oldest known specimen living to 21 years. The life span of a tree frog in the wild is much shorter. The most common indoor pet, the red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas), averages only 5 years in the wild like other frog species.
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