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Ontogeny of the oral apparatus of the tadpole of Bufo americanus

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The development of the oral apparatus of tadpoles of Bufo americanus was described from late embryonic through to metamorphic stages. Although sufficiently detailed developmental studies are not common, especially of species with tooth row formulae greater and less than 2/3, it appears that differences in timing rather than in sequence are the primary interspecific differences. Species with rapid developmental times (e.g. Bufo) seemingly start and complete developmental sequences slightly earlier than species with longer developmental times. Species with labial tooth row formulae greater than 2/3 start development sooner, complete it later and retain mouth parts longer into metamorphosis than species with 2/3 tooth rows. Lentic species tend to form the oral structures later and faster and atrophy the oral apparatus earlier and faster than lotic forms. For these reasons, oral development is often discordant with features of limb development used in staging.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA 37130; 2: 3 Department of Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi USA 39762


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