The chief character which distinguishes the Batrachians from the reptiles, leaving aside the metamorphoses, lies in the arrangement of the bones of the palate, where a large parasphenoid extends forwards as far or nearly as far as the vomers and widely separates the pterygoids.
With the exception of a number of forms in which the whole development takes place within the egg or in the body of the mother, batrachians undergo metamorphoses, the young passing through a free-swimming, gill-breathing period of considerable duration, during which their appearance, structure, and often their regime, are essentially different from those of the mature form.
- Honeycomb (natural size), Metamorphoses of the Honey Bee.
His legend includes animal metamorphoses of the most obscene character.
But is there any known stage of the human intellect in which these divine adventures, and the metamorphoses of men into animals, trees, stars, and converse with the dead, and all else that puzzles us in the civilized mythologies, are regarded as possible incidents of daily human life?