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Your Inner Frog

More than Meets the Eye (runner-up)

Here we have a Xenopus tropicalis (western clawed) frog hours after it had successfully resorbed its tail following metamorphosis. To visualize its skeleton, cartilage was stained with Alcian blue and calcified bone with Alizarin red (magenta color). The developmental life cycle of the frog may hold evolutionary secrets revealing how oceanic life made its way onto land almost 400 million years ago. Having transformed dramatically from that of a tadpole to grow limbs and lungs, the frog has features resembling many land vertebrates, including humans.              

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