As I stood in my garden this morning enjoying my breakfast cuppa, I noticed a slimy little frog hopping around enjoying the wet grass and puddles last night’s rain had produced.
Firstly, to understand how frogs breed, we need to understand that frogs are amphibians. This means they’re cold-blooded, have no backbone or scales, and breed in water.
A female frog will lay a large clump of eggs at a time; all in water where there are no strong currents to wash them away, which is why you most often find frogs in ponds.
Around 6 to 21 days after frogspawn is laid, the fertilised eggs will hatch into tadpoles. These are small, fish-like creatures with a tail, and a small mouth, and poorly formed gills. They often cling to water plants for protection until they can swim.
Tadpole to frog
Several changes have to take place for a tadpole to turn into a frog. Firstly, after about 4 weeks, the tadpole’s gills will become covered over with skin, and they start to breathe through their lungs instead. Next, after 6 to 9 weeks, the tadpole will start to sprout tiny legs at the back, then at the front.
The tadpole stops feeding on plants and steadily grows bigger and bigger until eventually its tail disappears.
By 12 to 16 weeks the tadpole will make the transition to new frog, and will be a full blown meat eater!
So that’s how the little frog ended up in my garden, I suspect he hopped over from the nearby pond. If you want your children to see firsthand the conversion from tadpole to frog, you can easily get hold of tadpoles from a local pet shop or pond, and set up your very own tadpole aquarium! I’m off to carry out more experiments with my mobile science lab, have a great weekend folks!