Lifecycle of amphibians
The life cycle of amphibians is a marvel of nature. A familiar example is that of the common frog; jelly-like eggs are laid in water, hatch into legless tadpoles with gills, the tadpoles grow one set of legs, then they metamorphose into an air-breathing froglet with a tail. Froglets lose their tails as they grow into adult frogs. A lot of amphibians lay their eggs out of water, finding interesting ways to keep their eggs and tadpoles wet.
Foam-nesting frogs nest in trees over rivers or ponds. They make a bubbly bag around their eggs to stop them drying out. When the tadpoles hatch, they wriggle out of the foam and drop into the water below.
Some rainforest frogs make their own ponds. The males bring water to make tiny pools in leaves and flowers in the trees, in which the females lay their eggs and the tadpoles develop.
Reptiles have a different life cycle to amphibians, as even aquatic species such as turtles must leave the water to lay their eggs on land. Unlike amphibians' wet, jelly-like eggs, reptiles' eggs have soft, leathery shells to prevent them from drying out. The moist, breathable skin of adult amphibians is very different from the dry, smooth scales of reptiles too.