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How long does it take a frog to develop?
Question Date: 2003-09-16
Answer 1:

Good question! Frogs are great animals to use in the study of embryology and development, and they're especially interesting because they're one of the only vertebrates (animals with backbones, like us) to go through a larval stage--the tadpole stage.

Different frog species develop at different speeds, but I'll tell you about a species called the African Clawed Frog, whose scientific name is Xenopus laevis. This is the species that most developmental biologists study.

Development begins when their eggs are fertilized by sperm cells. About 10 hours after that, the embryos go through gastrulation, which is the formation of the mouth, gut, and anus. About 8 hours after that, the embryos go through a process called neurulation, which is the formation of the brain and spinal cord. After that, their bodies and tails start to take shape, and in about 56 hours they become fully developed tadpoles. At this point, it's been 74 hours since fertilization, or just over three days.

Development from a tadpole to an adult frog takes about a year. They're now able to reproduce, which is when most scientists consider development to be finished. Remember, though, that different frog species might develop more quickly or more slowly that the African Clawed Frogs.

I hope that answers your question. Have fun with your biology classes!

Answer 2:

I'm sure I used to know the answer to this question when I was little, since we would go out and watch the tadpoles develop in a stream behind out house. I seem to remember that the initial stage, when the tadpoles got bigger and bigger, was slow and took about a month and the final stage, when the tadpoles grew arms and legs and lost their tails, was fast and only took a few days.

The time it takes for a frog egg to develop into a recognizable, hopping frog is not set in stone. Those frog species that live in dry environments have to develop before the temporary rain pools evaporate or the tadpoles will die. These species can develop in a matter of days. Imagine the noise as hundreds of frogs mate and lay eggs within a few hours after a rain storm! On the other hand, frog species that live near permanent streams can take longer, maybe a month or more. Development time depends on evolution (i.e., it varies between species), but can also depend on environment (i.e., it varies within a single species).

For example, development time can depend on the water temperature: tadpoles mature faster in warmer water. A great web site to check out is:

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