9 Difference Between Tadpoles and Frogs with Similarities

What is the difference between tadpoles and frogs?

Tadpoles and frogs belong to amphibians. Frogs begin their lifecycle as an egg. They hatch to aquatic larvae known as a tadpole. The tadpoles will in turn develop into adults which are the frogs.

The two are not the same. They are different from each other in appearance and behavior. Both are carnivores. They feed on insects, small fish, worms, slugs, and spiders.

The main difference between tadpoles and frogs is that tadpoles breathe through gills as they live in water. Frogs use their lungs to breathe. Tadpoles also have tails and fins to help them swim while frogs have arms and legs that help them to swim.

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Difference Between Tadpoles and Frogs

Comparison table (Tadpoles vs Frogs)

Characteristics Tadpoles Frogs
Skin They are warty-looking covered in little lumps and bumps. Their skin is sleek and smooth.
Legs They have much shorter legs. They have longer legs than the size of their bodies meant for swimming in water.
Shape They are squat and dumpy. They are lithe and athletic-looking.
Nose They have a broader nose. They have pointed noses.
Spawn It floats in stringy length. It is laid in gooey clumps.
Habitat They mainly live on land in fields, woods, and gardens. They inhabit water mainly in streams and ponds.
Activity They are nocturnal animals. They are diurnal animals.
Tail They possess a long tail. They do not have a tail.
Breathing organ They breathe through gills when underwater. They breathe through their lungs when underwater.
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What is a Tadpole?

Tadpole is a stage in the life cycle of an amphibian. Most of them live in water although some of the species live on land.

They have some features that are not found in adult amphibians. The features are lateral lines, gills, and tails.

Tadpoles are mostly herbivores. They feed on plant matter found in water. As they grow their diet changes. The organ used to breathe also changes from gills to lungs.

In China, they are used as food. They are collected for human consumption. It lays it eggs in water and it floats in stringy lines.

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What is a Frog?

Frogs are from the carnivores’ group. They are short-bodied, tailless amphibians. They are from order Anura. They include 7100 species in 55 families.

Their larvae have tails but the adults do not have tails. They have long hind legs. Their skin is smooth or warty. Their feet are webbed to enable them to move in the water.

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Their skin is protective and helps them to absorb water and helps control body temperature. They are cold-blooded hence they have an adaptation mechanism to allow them to live. To warm up, they move to the sun, when they overheat, they move to shade.

Their common defensive mechanism is to camouflage. Most camouflaged frogs are nocturnal. They are active during the night.

Their skin is permeable to oxygen and water. They contain blood vessels near the skin and this makes it possible for oxygen to diffuse into their blood when in water.

After mating, the females lay their eggs in water in clumps. This is to enable them not to be moved by water waves.

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Main Differences between Tadpoles and Frogs

  1. Tadpole’s skin is warty-looking covered with little lumps and bumps while frogs have smooth and sleek skin.
  2. Tadpoles have tails while frogs do not have tails.
  3. Tadpoles lay their eggs in stringy while frogs lay their eggs in clumps.
  4. Tadpoles have broader noses while frogs have pointed noses.
  5. Tadpoles are nocturnal while frogs are diurnal.
  6. Tadpoles breathe through gills while underwater while frogs breathe through lungs while underwater.
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Similarities between Tadpoles and Frogs

  1. They both belong to the same class.
  2. They both lay eggs.
  3. They both reproduce in water.
  4. Both can live in either water or on land.

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In Conclusion

Frogs and tadpoles are from the same class. They all belong to the amphibian class. They all can either live in water or on land. However, the two are different from each other. Tadpoles have warty-looking skin with little lumps and bumps while frogs have sleek and smooth skin.

The main feature that makes tadpoles different from frogs is the organ through which they breathe. Tadpoles breathe through gills and frogs breathe through lungs.

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