19.1 Introduction

Mary Ann Clark, Jung Choi, and Matthew Douglas

The process of amphibian metamorphosis, as seen in the tadpole-to-frog stages shown here, is driven by hormones. (credit “tadpole”: modification of work by Brian Gratwicke)


Photo A shows a tadpole. Photo b shows a frog that has developed legs but still has the tail of a tadpole. Photo C shows a fully grown frog.

An animal’s endocrine system controls body processes through the production, secretion, and regulation of hormones, which serve as chemical “messengers” functioning in cellular and organ activity and, ultimately, maintaining the body’s homeostasis. The endocrine system plays a role in growth, metabolism, and sexual development. In humans, common endocrine system diseases include thyroid disease and diabetes mellitus. In organisms that undergo metamorphosis, the process is controlled by the endocrine system. The transformation from tadpole to frog, for example, is complex and nuanced to adapt to specific environments and ecological circumstances.

Chapter 37 in OpenStax Concepts of Biology 2e

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19.1 Introduction by Mary Ann Clark, Jung Choi, and Matthew Douglas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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