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Gastric-brooding and marsupial frogs, Rate My Science

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Published on May 7, 2012

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The life cycle of a frog starts with an egg. A female generally lays gelatinous egg masses containing thousands of eggs, in water. Each anuran species lays eggs in a distinctive, identifiable manner. An example are the long strings of eggs laid by the common American toad. Eggs hatch and continue life as tadpoles (occasionally known as polliwogs), which typically have oval bodies and long, vertically flattened tails. At the end of the tadpole stage, frogs undergo metamorphosis, in which they undergo a transition into the adult form. After metamorphosis, young adults may leave the water and disperse into terrestrial habitats, or continue to live in the aquatic habitat as adults. The gastric-brooding frogs or Platypus frogs (Rheobatrachus) were a genus of ground-dwelling frogs native to Queensland in eastern Australia. What makes these frogs unique among all frog species is their form of parental care. Following external fertilization by the male, the female would take the eggs into her mouth and swallow them. It is not clear whether the eggs were laid on the land or in the water, as it was never observed prior to their extinction. The marsupial frogs are a disputed family (Amphignathodontidae) in the order Anura.
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