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Tadpoles vs. Frogs: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Updated on December 20, 2023
Tadpoles are the larval stage of frogs, living in water with gills and a tail, while frogs are the adult stage, living on land and water, with lungs and legs.

Key Differences

Tadpoles are the aquatic larval form of frogs, characterized by their long tails and gills for breathing underwater. Frogs, in contrast, are the adult form, adapted for life both in water and on land, with developed lungs and legs.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023
In their early life stage, tadpoles primarily feed on algae and plant matter, whereas adult frogs have a carnivorous diet, often consuming insects and small animals.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023
Tadpoles undergo metamorphosis, during which they develop limbs and lose their tails, transforming into adult frogs with distinct anatomical changes suitable for terrestrial living.
Huma Saeed
Dec 19, 2023
Tadpoles have a more streamlined body for swimming, while frogs possess a stout, well-developed body with powerful hind legs for jumping and swimming.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023
The habitat of tadpoles is exclusively aquatic, whereas adult frogs are amphibious, capable of living both in aquatic and terrestrial environments.
Janet White
Dec 19, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Stage of Life

Larval, aquatic
Adult, amphibious
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Physical Features

Gills, tail
Lungs, legs
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Diet

Algae, plant matter
Carnivorous, insects, small animals
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Metamorphosis

Undergo metamorphosis
Result of metamorphosis
Janet White
Dec 19, 2023

Habitat

Aquatic environments
Both aquatic and terrestrial
Janet White
Dec 19, 2023
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Tadpoles and Frogs Definitions

Tadpoles

Tadpoles have gills for underwater breathing.
Tadpoles breathe through gills in water.
Harlon Moss
Dec 02, 2023

Frogs

They have lungs for breathing air.
Frogs breathe air on land.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Tadpoles

Aquatic larval stage of frogs.
The pond is full of tadpoles.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Frogs

Frogs have powerful jumping legs.
Frogs leap to catch prey.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Tadpoles

Tadpoles undergo metamorphosis.
Tadpoles lose their tails during metamorphosis.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 02, 2023

Frogs

Adult stage of amphibians.
Frogs are common in wetlands.
Huma Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Tadpoles

They primarily feed on plant matter.
Tadpoles graze on algae.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Frogs

Frogs live in water and on land.
Frogs can be found near ponds and in gardens.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 02, 2023

Tadpoles

Tadpoles have a streamlined body.
Tadpoles swim effortlessly with their tail.
Harlon Moss
Dec 02, 2023

Frogs

Frogs have a carnivorous diet.
Frogs eat insects and small animals.
Harlon Moss
Dec 02, 2023

Tadpoles

The aquatic larva of a frog or toad, having gills, a long, laterally compressed tail, and in early stages, no limbs. During metamorphosis of a tadpole into an adult, legs and lungs develop, and the tail gradually disappears. Also called polliwog.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Frogs

Any of numerous tailless aquatic, semiaquatic, or terrestrial amphibians of the order Anura, characteristically having a short vertebral column, a large head, long hind legs used for leaping, and a tadpole stage as larvae.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Tadpoles

Plural of tadpole
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Frogs

Any of various usually aquatic members of this order having smoother skin and longer hind legs than the toads.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

FAQs

What do adult frogs look like?

Adult frogs have developed legs, lungs, and a stout body.
Huma Saeed
Dec 19, 2023

What is a frog’s habitat?

Frogs live in both aquatic and terrestrial environments.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

What are tadpoles?

Tadpoles are the larval stage of frogs, living in water.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

How do tadpoles breathe?

Tadpoles breathe underwater using gills.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

How long do tadpoles take to become frogs?

The time varies, but it usually takes several weeks to months.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

How do frogs reproduce?

Frogs lay eggs in water, which hatch into tadpoles.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

What do tadpoles eat?

Tadpoles primarily feed on algae and plant matter.
Harlon Moss
Dec 19, 2023

Can frogs breathe underwater?

Adult frogs cannot breathe underwater like tadpoles.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Do frogs hibernate?

Some frog species hibernate during cold months.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

How high can frogs jump?

Some frogs can jump many times their body length.
Janet White
Dec 19, 2023

Do tadpoles have legs?

Tadpoles develop legs during metamorphosis.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

What is metamorphosis in tadpoles?

Metamorphosis is the process where tadpoles transform into frogs.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

What predators eat frogs?

Birds, snakes, and larger amphibians prey on frogs.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Are all tadpoles the same species?

No, tadpoles belong to different species of frogs and toads.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Do tadpoles have eyes?

Yes, tadpoles have eyes, essential for navigation and feeding.
Harlon Moss
Dec 19, 2023

What colors are frogs?

Frogs come in various colors, often green, brown, or gray.
Harlon Moss
Dec 19, 2023

How do tadpoles survive in winter?

Tadpoles can overwinter in ponds or slow down their development.
Harlon Moss
Dec 19, 2023

Can frogs change color?

Some frog species can change color for camouflage.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023

Are tadpoles social?

Tadpoles can be seen in groups, but they are not truly social.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 19, 2023

Do all frogs make noise?

Many frog species are known for their distinctive calls.
Sara Rehman
Dec 19, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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