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Embryos (and one tadpole) of
the wrinkled frog (
Rana rugosa).
A tadpole is a larval frog or toad. In this stage it breathes by means of external or internal gills, is at first lacking legs, and has a finlike tail. As a tadpole matures, it metamorphoses by gradually growing limbs and then absorbing its tail.

Most tadpoles are herbivorous, subsisting on algae. In a few species, some tadpoles turn cannibalistic under harsh conditions and feed on other tadpoles living in the pond.

Tadpole is a 2002 film directed by Gary Winick about a boy who falls in love with an older woman. See: Tadpole (movie).