Frequently Asked Questions
Students Ask and Experts Answer
Ways to use in the Classroom

Life Cycle

Q. How long does a frog usually live?
Frogs can live for may years, unless they are eaten by another predator or die of accidental causes or illness.

Q. Why do frogs make such a ruckus in the spring?
It's the male frogs you hear, and they croak like crazy in the spring to attract females of their species.

Q. What is frog spawn?
Jelly-like masses of eggs are called frog's spawn. Here's how frog spawn happens: A female frog lays eggs under water, usually in the spring. She may lay as many as 20,000 eggs. The male frog climbs on her back and fertilizes the eggs as they are laid. The female covers the eggs with a jelly-like substance that causes the eggs to float to the water's surface.

Q. How do frogs reproduce?
Most frogs need to lay their eggs in water. Each female lays thousands of eggs at a time, in slimy masses. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, which look very different from frogs. The tadpoles live exclusively in the water and breathe through gills instead of lungs like an adult frog. The tadpoles have a tail for swimming instead of legs and arms for hopping. Tadpoles have also a small rasping mouth for scraping algae off the bottom of the pond instead of the wide mouth and strong jaws suited to the adult frog's carnivorous diet. Some kinds of frogs have different ways to raise their families. In some species, the eggs hatch directly into little froglets and there is no tadpole stage at all. One kind of treefrog builds hanging nests; the tadpoles drop into water below as they hatch.

Q. How long does it take for a tadpole to turn into an adult frog?
The process of changing from a tadpole into an adult frog is called metamorphosis. Depending on the species, it can take a few weeks to a year or more for the tadpoles to grow up. frogs who live in dry places where rains are seasonal have to grow up quickly because the tadpoles will die if their temporary ponds dry up first.