Each tiny tadpole that manages to hatch its way into the world has already overcome many challenges. Frog eggs face a large risk of being devoured by other animals and tadpoles face the same challenges. Tadpoles grow into baby frogs, or "froglets," and soon enough they will lay their own eggs.
After hatching from its egg and entering the world, the first thing a tadpole does is feast upon the yolk in the egg that it hatched from. At birth a tadpole has a mouth, a small tail and underdeveloped gills. The newborn tadpole is very delicate at this point, so he sticks himself to weeds in the water for the first week or more. After this point, he will start to swim around and explore. He will munch on algae here and there. Eventually his gills will turn into skin and he will develop tiny teeth.
By its fourth week, the little guy is really getting the hang of things. Some tadpoles will mix and mingle with their fellow tadpole friends and some may swim around in schools, similar to fish. During a tadpole's metamorphosis, almost every organ is undergoing change. Around weeks six to nine, the cute little tadpole will develop his legs and his head will grow larger, extending farther from his body. At this point his diet will evolve. He may help himself to small insects and plants. He will look like a tiny frog with a long tail. His arms will begin to look rather bulky.
At around 12 weeks old he is considered a froglet. His tail has turned into a teeny little stub and he resembles a miniature adult. By this point he swims and navigates through the water with ease while continuing to munch on insects and plants. The froglet will develop his tongue muscles, which will help to catch flies. His large intestine will change itself in order to adapt to the mostly insect-based diet of the adult frog he is soon to become.
Fully Developed Frog
The end stage of the developing froglet will ensure that he is fully capable of existing and thriving as a frog. He will be big and strong enough to leave the water soon. If the need arises, a frog has the ability to keep itself sheltered from cold winter temperatures by burrowing under the ground. At this point, he is sexually mature and can go on to mate and bring little tadpoles of his own into the world.
Pamela Miller has been writing for health, beauty and animal health/welfare publications for seven years. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from MTSU.