The Next Generation
In the most familiar reproductive mode, frogs begin their lives as eggs laid in water; soon, swimming tadpoles emerge, grow, and metamorphose, eventually moving onto land to grow yet further into adults. But only about half of all frog species reproduce this way. Other methods abound—about 40 in total—some surprising and even bizarre. Whether by land, water, or foam, these varied breeding strategies do have a common goal: to provide a moist, safe environment for the next generation.
© Michael J. Tyler
Rheobatrachus silus giving birth
The world is a dangerous place for growing frogs, so the females of this species go to extreme measures: they swallow their own fertilized eggs, halting digestive processes and turning their stomachs into nurseries. After several weeks of development, fully formed frogs hop from their mother's mouth. Sadly, this species may now be extinct.