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American Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing Tail

Bullfrog Metamorphosis
HOME LIFE SCIENCE OBSERVATIONS
Frog Development from Tadpole to Froglet to Adult
 
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American Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing TailAmerican Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing Tail
American Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing TailAmerican Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing TailAmerican Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing Tail
American Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing TailAmerican Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing TailAmerican Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing TailAmerican Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing Tail
American Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing TailAmerican Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing TailAmerican Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing Tail
American Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing TailAmerican Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing Tail
American Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing Tail
American Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing TailAmerican Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing Tail
Page last updated 8/2014
Bullfrog Tadpoles Delivered from Carolina Biological Supply
Bullfrog Tadpole, Note "Whiskers" Around Mouth
American Bullfrog Tadpole Growing at Differemt Rates
American Bullfrog Metamorphosis: Tadpole to Frog
This page is devoted to bullfrog tadpole metamorphosis with photos of our bullfrogs at different stages of their development, featuring the three bullfrog tadpoles that we followed through metamorphosis.

The information on this page falls into four categories:

  • ​Bullfrog tadpole before metamorphosis.

Go to BULLFROG MAIN PAGE
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OBSERVING METAMORPHOSIS

It can take up to two years for bullfrog tadpoles to change into frogs, but once front legs appear, change happens very quickly. It takes less than 10 days for a bullfrog tadpole to change into a frog once it sprouts front legs !

American Bullfrog Froglet Reabsorbing Tail
BIGGIE TAD's Metamorphosis
Bullfrog Tadpoles Before Metamorphosis

We ordered bullfrog tadpoles online from Carolina Biological Supply, and housed them in a 10-gallon aquarium. When the tadpoles arrived, they were all about the same size and very similar in appearance, so we named them all Tad.

For several months the tadpoles just grew bigger, but not at the same rate, so they ranged in size from very big Tads to teeny Tads. Here are pictures of our tadpoles before they began metamorphosis.

Large and Small Bullfrog Tadpoles
Side View of American Bullfrog Tadpole in Aquarium
Bullfrog Tadpole: Note the black outline of the mouth and the surrounding "whiskers."
1. The tadpoles were shipped to us in Michigan during winter. They arrived in a large cardboard shipping box with a Styrofoam box inside and a heat pack. 2 & 3. The tadpoles mouths are surrounded by little "whiskers" to help them suck up algae and nibble on plants in the tank.  
4. Side view of American bullfrog tadpole. 5 & 6. Although similar in size when shipped to us, the tadpoles grew at different rates.
American Bullfrog Metamorphosis

​Since we received the tadpoles in December 2012, five have died. Four died as tadpoles and one jumped out of a small opening in the tank, after changing into a frog (we have since closed that opening). Below are the three tadpoles that we have tracked, or are tracking through metamorphosis: Biggie Tad, Lumpy & Tiny Tad. Biggie is the frog who died after jumping out of the tank. 

Bullfrog Froglet That Recently Metamorphosized from Tadpole
American Bullfrog Tadpole with Rear Legs
Rear legs first appeared 5/17/13
American Bullfrog Tadpole with Rear Legs
Two days later rear legs larger and bend at knee 5/19/13
American Bullfrog Tadpole Rear Legs
Rear legs 5/24/13
American Bullfrog Tadpole with Well-developed Rear Legs
Rear legs well-developed 6/9/13
Bullfrog Tadpole Body Changing Shape Into Frog
Tadpole has front legs and  body begins to change shape 6/18/13
Bullfrog Tadpole Froglet Reabsorbing Tail
Tadpole now looks like a frog with a tail 6/21/13
Tadpole continues to reabsorb tail 6/23/13
Biggie Tad is a frog 6/25/13

Time Table for 
BIGGIE TAD's Metamorphosis

  • Tadpole ~ 9 months old before began metamorphosis.
  • Began metamorphosis 5-17-13: Rear legs appeared.
  • 23 days: Rear legs continued to grow.
  • 32 days: Front legs appear and head begins to change shape.
  • 35 days: Tadpole looks like frog with tail. Begins reabsorbing tail. 
  • 37 days: Froglet continues reabsorbing tail.
  • 39 days: Metamorphosis complete. 

LUMPY's Metamorphosis
Bullfrog Tadpole With New Rear Legs
Rear legs first appeared 6/22/13
Bullfrog Tadpole with Small Rear Legs
Five days later rear legs much larger and bent at the knee 6/27/13
American Bullfrog Tadpole with Well-developed Rear Legs
American Bullfrog Tadpole with Arms, Legs and Tail. Head Starting to Change Shape
Rear legs well-developed 7/14/13
Well-developed arms, probably started yesterday. Head starting to change shape 7/16/13
American Bullfrog Tadpole with Rear Legs and Arms. Head Starting to Change Shape.
See how shape of head has changed, with eyes raised 7/17/13

Time Table for 
LUMPY's Metamorphosis

  • Tadpole ~ 10 months old before began metamorphosis.
  • Began metamorphosis 6-22-13: Rear legs appeared.
  • 22 days: Rear legs continued to grow.
  • 24 days: Front legs appear and head begins to change shape.
  • 26 days: Tadpole's head is changing shape, eyes raised, mouth enlarging.
  • 29 days: Tail reabsorbing
  • 31 days: Metamorphosis complete. Lumpy is a frog with just a tiny stub of tail remaining.

TINY TAD's Metamorphosis
American Bullfrog Tadpole
FREE FROGGIE ACTIVITIES!

  Printable Tadpole Coloring Page     
Frog Life Cycle Wrod Search
Bullfrog Tadpole Coloring Page
Tiny tad finally sprouted legs  8-9-13, then  metamorphosis stalled. This tadpole stayed the same... tadpole body with tiny rear legs...until he mysteriously disappeared in March 2014. Perhaps Lumpy ate him?
More Bullfrog Resources






American Bullfrog Tadpole with Legs and Tail. Mouth Starting to Change Shape.
See how mouth is widening 7/18/13
American Bullfrog Tadpole with Tail Nearly Gone
Tail much shorter
7/21/13
Bullfrog Near End of Metamorphosis. Note Tail Stub Still Reabsorbing.
Tail nearly gone. Lumpy looks like frog
7/22/13
As a science educator and mom, I always look for ways to make science fun and interesting for my own elementary school-age children. One of the features of the Home School Science area of this website is a detailed look at our adventures with bullfrogs, including how to find and care for bullfrog tadpoles
Small Bullfrog Shortly After Completing Metamorphosis
Tail gone. Lumpy is a frog! 7/23/13
R.I.P
BULLFROG UPDATE!
Latest Tadpole News 
8/3/14
Although two of our tadpoles fully morphed into frogs, only  one survived and thrives, Lumpy! He is now a little bullfrog and loves to eat chopped earthworms!! 

  Go to >
Bullfrog Main Page

Bullfrog That Recently Completed Metamorphosis
Home School Science! 
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