Frogs are amphibians, which means that they can live in water or on land. They go through several stages of life before they become adult frogs and during those stages, they live only in water.
Stage 1: Egg
A frog begins life as a fertilized egg. A female frog lays a lot of eggs at one time in a pond. The eggs float on water in a jelly mass or cluster. The eggs will soon hatch into tadpoles!
Stage 2: Tadpole
When the tadpole hatches, it looks more like a fish than a frog. It doesn’t have any legs! It has gills that allow it to breathe underwater. The tadpole swims, eats plants and algae from the water, and grows for several weeks.
During this time, the tadpole starts to develop lungs so it will be able to breathe out of the water when it becomes a frog. The tadpole also starts to grow two hind legs. Now it can leap around instead of only swimming. Although the tadpole is starting to look a little more like a frog, it still has a very long tail!
Stage 3: Young Frog
The tadpole grows two front legs and its long tail becomes shorter and shorter. The tadpole uses the nutrients stored in its tail as food, so until its tail is completely gone, it doesn’t need anything else to eat! Then just a little stub of its tail is left, and the tadpole is a young frog. It hops right out of the water and onto dry land for the first time! The frog is still very small.
Stage 4: Adult Frog
The frog’s tail will eventually disappear completely and it will start to eat insects instead of plants from the water. The young frog will grow for about 2-4 years to become an adult. The adult frogs then lay their eggs and more tadpoles hatch and begin the cycle again!