The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 02. Changes in body fluid osmolality, ion concentration and nitrogen balance in Pelobates syriacus during ontogenesis


Open Access


Authors: J. Hoffman And M. R. Warburg

Abstract: The larvae of Pelobates syriacus have a long developmental period to metamorphosis. This is atypical ofxeric-inhabiting anurans and suggests that the populations of this species in Israel are relicts from the time when this region enjoyed a milder climate. In contrast, metamorphic climax is rapid: In the course of a few days the external appearance changes from that of tadpole to toad let. Durmg the same short period, together with other internal reorganizations, the kidney completes its maturation from pronephros to mesonephros. The production of urine, a fluid which is almost identical to plasma in the tadpoles, ceases, and when it is resumed in postmetamorphic toadlets, it is dilute and adult-type with nitrogen as urea replacing ammonia. There is a simultaneous increase in plasma osmolality. In P. syriacus a long period of development followed by the emergence of a relatively large metamorph may be an adaptation to a hostile environment. Coupled with the rapid metamorphic climax , these life history features may increase the opportunities to disperse and burrow into soil that remains moist, at the beginning of a long hot and dry summer.

Keywords: Pelobates, ontogenesis, osmolality, ion-balance, nitrogen excretion


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