Why Do Frogs Release Such a Large Number of Eggs

Why Do Frogs Release Such a Large Number of Eggs

I had never given it much thought, but when my nephew asked this question, I started to think about it. Even to the extent that before I knew it, I was searching the web for 4 hours straight! I’ll give you the answer below so that you don’t have to spend that many hours on this exact question.

So, Why do frogs release such a large number of eggs? Frogs release a large number of eggs to make the chance of producing offspring greater. Fertilization happens outside of the female frog. That means that the chance of the eggs surviving is small. Other animals can eat the eggs or when the eggs aren’t getting any water they will dry up and die.

Below I’ll answer this question more in depth and try to explain it in such a way that you, without a doubt, know why frogs release such a large number of eggs.

The Reasons Behind Laying So Many Eggs

The female frog can lay about 2.000 to 20.000 eggs at the time of breeding. This is such a large amount because the chances of an egg surviving in the wild and turning into tadpoles are not that great.

The first reason for that is the fact that other animals see the eggs as food and gladly feast themselves on those eggs. This is why you won’t see much frogspawn in ponds with fish.

The second reason is the fact that those eggs aren’t protected from the sun by anything. Normally (when you look at birds for example) the eggs have a strong layer of protection. Frogs don’t have that. This means that when the frog eggs aren’t laying in water, the sun will dry up those eggs and the tadpoles inside will die.

With all these things that could go wrong with the eggs, there aren’t many that will survive. A rough estimate is that only 1 in 50 eggs will survive and will grow from an egg into a tadpole. To put this into perspective… When a female frog lays 20.000 eggs and all of them get fertilized, only about 400 of them will grow into tadpoles.

But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there are going to be 400 frogs. Frogs are, in various stages of their lives a prey for other animals. So chances are that other animals will eat many of the tadpoles that are in the pond in the weeks that it grows into a young frog.

Why Do Frogs Lay Their Eggs In Water?

I think all of us have seen some frogspawn from time to time and the thing to notice is that it looks and feels jelly. This means that the eggs of frogs don’t have a hard protective layer over their eggs as birds and reptile eggs do. Now, this is exactly the reason why they lay their eggs in water. You see, when they don’t do that, the eggs will dry up and then the very tiny tadpoles inside will die.

The Best Spots For Laying Frog Eggs

The frogspawn of females is usually found in well-vegetated, shaded, and shallow ponds. But it is worth to mention that, if you want to find some frog eggs, you should avoid the ponds with fish in them. Normally you wouldn’t find many frogs there because the fish could eat the frogspawn.

Frogspawn in pond

Frogs can also use a drainage ditch to lay there eggs. Especially after warm rains. So, if you want to find eggs in a drainage ditch, go outside after warm rains and look and search the water for eggs.

Frog Sapwn in drainage ditch

Water from raining
As I stated above, frogs like to breed after warm rains. This does not only mean that you can find eggs in drainage ditches or ponds but also in a puddle of water.

Frogspawn in a puddle of water

But most lay their eggs and attach them to submerging vegetation near the edge of the body of water.

How Long Does It Take To Go From Egg To Tadpole And Then To Frog?

The life cycle of a frog can take up to 2 – 4 years and goes through different stages when it is alive (egg, tadpole, frog).

The first stage is where the frog is nothing more than just a fertilized egg. As you now know frogs lay lots of eggs just so that some of them can survive. In about 2 to 4 weeks the eggs will hatch into tadpoles.

When the tadpole hatches, it kinda looks like a fish. This is because the tadpole doesn’t have legs. In this stage, the tadpole will feed himself with plants and algae that he finds in the water. For the next few weeks, he is swimming around and just steadily growing. During those weeks the tadpole slowly starts to develop lungs so that it can breathe on land. Before that, the tadpole uses gills to be able to breathe underwater.

In this stage, the tadpole also starts to grow to hind legs. That is something amazing because now it is able to not only swim but also to leap around. Now, the tadpole is slowly becoming a frog but it still has a very long tail.

After the stage of being a tadpole, it comes into the stage of a young frog. In this stage, the frog grows 2 front legs and the tail that was once very long is slowly becoming shorter. What you may not know is the fact that earlier he used his tail as storage for food. Now that the tail is becoming shorter, he uses this to feed himself and until the tail is gone, it doesn’t need anything else to eat. When the tail is almost gone, the tadpole has grown into a small frog.

Then the young frog comes into the final stage. The stage of being an adult frog. Growing from a young frog into an adult frog takes about 2-4 years. In this time the frog will start to eat insects instead of plants and algae from the water.

Can I Do Something To Help A Frog Spawn Survive?

This is a good question. Frog enthusiasts like you and me, like frogs and want to help them in any way we can. But it is best to not interfere with nature. Don’t move the frog spawn from one pond to another. This can cause diseases or even death because the new pond may not be suitable for the frogspawn you took from the other pond.

Let nature run its course. As I stated earlier in this article, pregnant female frogs lay thousands of eggs. This is not just because they want to. This is already so that it allows for huge losses in frog spawn.

Related Questions

Do frogs stay with their eggs? Normally frogs don’t stay with their frogspawn. They just lay the eggs and go on with their lives. But, there are some female frogs why will stay around their eggs and wait until the tadpoles hatch. She then proceeds to take care of them.

Are tadpoles dangerous? No tadpoles are normally not at all dangerous. However, when you eat them, as they do in China, for example, they are dangerous. Eating live tadpoles is a high risk of sparganum infection.

How many times a year does a frog lay eggs? The breeding time of the year is from January till March (depending on weather conditions). This means that female frogs will lay her eggs once a year.