When a mom and dad frog get together, and they decide to have baby frogs they have to mate. They may mate in a tree or even in water, depending of the type of frog that they are. They will then hug for several days all at once. This is known as amplexus. This is done so that the mom frog can spawn, and create baby frogs. The cycle is started, completed, and then continues on for as long as frogs are able to live on land and in the water, as well as spawn their young. Frogs are fascinating, and they differ a lot from humans which allows us to learn more about amphibians and how they are able to strive in our environment.
During the time when the frogs are hugging, the mom frog lays a lot of eggs all at once, so that the dad frog can then fertilize these eggs. The eggs have to be outside of the mom frog’s body in order for the dad to fertilize them unlike humans. This is the first step of a frog’s life cycle. Once they have finished spawning, the dad and mom frog both leave. Sometimes the mom frog might stay around the eggs and wait for her tadpoles to hatch. She will then care for them, but this only happens with some frogs. The eggs that you see floating in the water are called spawn, and this is a result of the mom and dad frog hugging. They will soon turn into tadpoles.
The mom frog lays a lot of eggs all at once, and a lot of the eggs will never hatch. The eggs might even be eaten by birds or other small animals in the area, but only those that are not in the large clump that are surrounded by a thick jelly covering. Some of the eggs might be missed during fertilization as well. Eggs can break in the water, or dry out in the sun. The eggs that survive normally hatch between 7 to 9 days. The eggs start as a single cell, and then split into two cells, then four, and so on. They end up having many different cells. This mass of cells will then turn into an embryo. Gills and small organs will form, and the embryo gets nourishment off of the internal yolk.
The egg will attach itself onto a week when it is ready to hatch. Once the eggs hatch, they are not frogs right away; they are tiny fish like creatures known as tadpoles. The tadpole will eat its own egg yolk for the first 7 days. A tadpole only has a mouth, gills, and tail. After the 7 days, the tadpole then swims around and eats the algae at the top of the water. Tadpoles have to watch out since they can be eaten by other water animals or birds. The pond might also dry out, which can cause them to die as well. The tadpole will grow teeth, and have skin over its gills around 4 weeks. It will even swim with schools of fish. At 6 to 9 weeks it begins to develop legs and a head, and even become longer. At the end of the ninth week it will resemble a frog more than a fish, but it will still have its tail. It will eat small insects instead of algae. Sometimes these changes might take more than a few weeks in the colder parts of the world.
After 9 weeks, until around 12 weeks the tadpole will go through a metamorphosis to become a frog. The froglet that once was will lose the majority of its tail, grow a long frog tongue, and start to look more like a frog. The whole metamorphosis stage takes around a month or 4 weeks to complete. Once it is complete, the frog will have shed its skin and lips, the mouth will widen, and the horny jaws will be gone. It will have long frog legs, and functioning lungs.
11 weeks after the eggs were laid, the frog, fully developed at this time has come to be. It will have fully developed lungs, legs, and no tail. It will come from the water, to live on the land, but also visit the water occasionally. When it wants to make frog babies of its own, the water is where it will go. The small frogs will live off of worms and insects. It will find a mate, and then it begins the entire process once again.