Before a tadpole becomes a frog, it undergoes a major physical transformation. Now it turns out that the change in the eyes is the most amazing.
The tadpole sees well in an underwater environment. The frog mainly lives above water, and therefore doesn’t make much use of that underwater vision. This piqued the curiosity of researchers at the University of York: Does eye function change, too?
Underwater light has a different glow than light above water. The amount of light also varies. It is already believed that animals that have undergone metamorphosis, such as butterflies and frogs, are better at adapting to these different habitats. This is indeed true.
In this study, they examined the expression of certain genes in the eyes of both tadpoles and frogs. They also looked for changes in the color that eye cells are most sensitive to.
They saw that 42 percent of the eye’s genes changed after the tadpoles went through the frog transformation, so the eyes were perfectly adapted to the frog’s new environment.