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Environmental and Developmental Effects on External Gill Loss in the Red‐Eyed Tree Frog, Agalychnis callidryas

Karen M. Warkentin
Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: Ecological and Evolutionary Approaches
Vol. 73, No. 5 (September/October 2000), pp. 557-565
DOI: 10.1086/317751
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/317751
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Environmental and Developmental Effects on External Gill Loss in the
Red‐Eyed Tree Frog,
Agalychnis callidryas
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Abstract

Abstract I examined the effects of development, hatching, and oxygen availability on external gill loss in red‐eyed tree frogs, Agalychnis callidryas. Under natural conditions, the arboreal embryos maintained large external gills until hatching, which occurred from 5–8 d after oviposition. At hatching, when tadpoles entered the water, external gills began to regress. In older hatchlings this process was extremely rapid. Gill circulation was lost on average within 16 min and sometimes within 5 min. Gills often regressed completely in under 2 h. Younger hatchlings reduced gill circulation, shortened and adducted their gills, then resumed normal circulation for some time after hatching; half had completely lost external gills within 24 h. Experimentally increasing the area of egg surface exposed to the air induced loss of external gills in unhatched embryos. Older hatchlings in hypoxic water without access to air maintained their external gills. This suggests that loss of external gills is a response to increased oxygen availability, rather than a response to hatching per se. Extended maintenance of external gills by large, late‐hatching embryos may facilitate continued rapid development in closely packed eggs.

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