Frogs are one of the most diverse groups of vertebrates on the planet and are found on every continent except Antarctica. There are more than 6000 species of frogs and toads and they come in a wide variety of shapes sizes and colors. Frogs range in size from the tiny poison dart frog which is less than an inch long to the giant Goliath frog which can grow up to 12 inches long. Some frogs can even change colors!
Most frogs have moist smooth skin that is covered in toxins that make them unpalatable to predators. Frogs absorb water and breathe through their skin so they must live in damp environments. Many frogs spend the majority of their time in or near water but some frogs like the desert-dwelling Gila monster can live their entire lives without ever taking a sip.
All frogs go through a metamorphosis or change during their lifetime. When they are born frogs are tadpoles which are aquatic larvae with tails and no legs. Over time tadpoles grow legs and lose their tails as they transform into adults. Some frogs like the African bullfrog can take up to two years to complete their transformation.
Frogs are carnivores and their diet consists mostly of insects. They use their long sticky tongues to snag their prey. Some frogs like the poison dart frog are deadly poisonous to humans. The poison dart frog’s toxins are so potent that just one frog has enough poison to kill 10 grown men!
All frogs are amphibians which means they can live both in water and on land. Frogs typically lay their eggs in water where the tadpoles can develop and grow. When the tadpoles transform into frogs they leave the water and live on land.
Frogs are an important part of the ecosystem because they help to control the populations of insects. They are also a food source for many animals including snakes birds and mammals.
Frogs are in trouble all over the world. Habitat loss pollution and introduce predators are just some of the threats they face. Many frogs are also hunted for food or for the pet trade. Some frogs like the golden frog of Colombia are believed to have magical powers and are killed for their body parts which are used in traditional medicines.
You can help frogs by becoming a FrogWatch USA volunteer! FrogWatch USA is a citizen science program that trains volunteers to collect data about local frog and toad populations. The data collected by volunteers is used to help conservation efforts and to track the health of amphibian populations.
What is an amphibian?
Amphibians are a class of vertebrate animals that include frogs toads newts and salamanders.
They tend to have moist skin and live in damp environments.
What are the characteristics of an amphibian?
Amphibians typically have moist skin live in damp environments and are ectothermic (cold-blooded).
What is the difference between a frog and a toad?
Frogs are typically found near bodies of water and have smooth moist skin.
Toads on the other hand live on land and have dry warty skin.
How do amphibians breathe?
Amphibians typically breathe through their skin as well as their lungs.
What is metamorphosis?
Metamorphosis is the process by which tadpoles transform into adult frogs.
This process usually takes place over the course of several weeks.
How do tadpoles turn into frogs?
Tadpoles first grow legs and then their tails begin to disappear.
They also develop lungs so that they can breathe air.
Finally their gills disappear and they develop adult frog features.
What do tadpoles eat?
Tadpoles are mostly herbivorous meaning they eat plants.
What do adult frogs eat?
Adult frogs are carnivorous meaning they eat meat.
What is the life cycle of a frog?
The life cycle of a frog starts with an egg which hatches into a tadpole.
The tadpole then metamorphoses into an adult frog.
Where do amphibians live?
Amphibians can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
What is the largest amphibian in the world?
The largest amphibian in the world is the Chinese giant salamander which can grow to be up to 1.
8 meters long.
What is the smallest amphibian in the world?
The smallest amphibian in the world is the minute salamander which is only about 2.
5 centimeters long.
Are amphibians in danger of extinction?
Yes amphibians are in danger of extinction due to habitat loss pollution and disease.
How can you help amphibians?
You can help amphibians by conserving their habitats monitoring their populations and working to control the spread of disease.
What is the difference between an amphibian and a reptile?
Amphibians and reptiles are both ectothermic (cold-blooded) animals but amphibians typically have moist skin and live in damp environments.
Reptiles on the other hand have dry scaly skin and live on land.