From tadpole to adult frog locomotion

Keith T. Sillar*, John Simmers, Denis Combes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Downloads (Pure)


The transition from larval to adult locomotion in the anuran, Xenopus laevis, involves a dramatic switch from axial to appendicular swimming including intermediate stages when the tail and hindlimbs co-exist and contribute to propulsion. Hatchling tadpole swimming is generated by an axial central pattern generator (CPG) which matures rapidly during early larval life. During metamorphosis, the developing limbs are controlled by a de novo appendicular CPG driven initially by the axial system before segregating to allow both systems to operate together or independently. Neuromodulation plays important roles throughout, but key modulators switch their effects from early inhibitory influences to facilitating locomotion. Temperature affects the construction and operation of locomotor networks and global changes in environmental temperature place aquatic poikilotherms, like amphibians, at risk. The locomotor control strategy of anurans differs from other amphibian groups such as salamanders, where evolution has acted upon the thyroid hormone pathway to sculpt different developmental outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102753
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Early online date6 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'From tadpole to adult frog locomotion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this