1. Two substances are involved in amphibian metamorphosis as studied in Ambystoma opacum: first, iodine, which is taken up by the food, and second, an excretor substance, which is evolved during the processes of growth and serves to induce the excretory function of the thyroid gland.
2. This explains why in larvæ, whose metamorphosis is inhibited by lack of iodine, growth is checked at the time when metamorphosis should occur; for at this time the excretor substance commences to act and this results, if iodine is absent, in the excretion by the thyroid of toxic substances which cause the breakdown of proteins and consequently a decrease in size of the larvæ.
3. Larvæ whose metamorphosis is inhibited by extirpation of the thyroid or by the hereditary lack of a thyroid (as is the case in Typhlomolge) can grow normally, since in them the action of the excretor substance cannot result in the excretion by the thyroid of a toxic growth-inhibiting substance.
4. At low temperature less excretor substance is produced than at high temperature during an equal rate of growth; therefore larvæ kept at low temperature reach a larger size than larvæ kept at high temperature, before they metamorphose.