"The greatest progressive minds of embryology have not looked at hypotheses; they have looked at embryos." ~Jane Oppenheimer
"Theories come and theories go. The frog remains." ~Jean Rostand
Xenopus is at once elegantly simple and infinitely complex--I found it a wonder to study. My interest in Xenopus and development began in spring of 2001. At the time, being the precocious biology student that I was, I was enrolled in Developmental biology and Vertebrate Field Zoology (a mistake I was later to regret). In zoology, I was identifying birds through the use of field guides based on anatomical features. Meanwhile, in developmental biology I was struggling with the staging of Xenopus tadpoles. Out of my frustration arose my inspiration. I thought it would be a good idea if there were a pictoral atlas that could be used to aid students in identifying stages during tadpole development. The Nieuwkoop and Faber drawings were very detailed, but it was hard to know what anatomical characteristics to look for, and how important they were. I sat down with Dr. Lom and we came up with other advantagesreality, magnification and multiple perspectives. I began compiling photographs in the summer of 2001, but wasnt able to organize them into a concrete format. The following year (in the spring of 2002) I was given the opportunity to complete the project as an independent study. This is the result of my labors. I have tried to remain faithful to the original text and create a resource that will be both accurate and efficient. It is my hope that students and researches alike will find use for this valuable resource. -Will Graham, '02
Digitized images and developmental data from Nieuwkoop
and Faber (1994) Normal Table of Xenopus laevis (Daudin). Garland Publishing
Inc, New York ISBN 0-8153-1896-0.
Digital photographs of Xenopus embryos and site design copyright of William Graham, '02 and Ian Willoughby, '03. All rights reserved. No portion of them can be used without prior expressed permission.
Some of our Xenopus embryo photographs appear in the book Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom by Sean Carroll (2005) on pg. 85.
updated 26 June 2005