Frogs are amphibians classified under the Anura order. Just like any other amphibian, frogs survive in moist places or areas with water sources. Frogs are mostly identified by their jumping abilities, their protruding eyes, and slimy skin. Scientists believe that frogs have existed since the Jurassic period which is approximately 140 million years ago. Today, there are approximately 4,810 known species of frogs. The United States has around ninety species of frogs.
Frogs are widely distributed in major parts of the world, but a more significant percentage of the different species of frogs is concentrated in the tropical rainforests; this is because, in tropical rainforest regions, all months have equal precipitation of about 60 mm implying that there are no dry months in these regions.
Frogs can be easily found near water bodies due to their moist skin. They prefer living in ponds, marshes, and lakes because the waters in the above-described sources move slowly and thus frogs can easily navigate. All the species of frogs can live in water bodies except in seas or salty waters.
Frogs are cold-blooded mammals; their body temperatures can adjust depending on the surrounding conditions. When frogs feel cold, they can be observed lying out in the sun, and when they get too warm, they cool their bodies by entering into the water.
Characteristics of Frogs
Frogs are some of the few amphibians that have the capability of seeing in all directions; their eyes are protruded on the sides of the heads giving them a clear view in almost all directions. Frogs also have powerful hind legs that allow them to jump great distances. Their legs are also webbed, giving them the ability to swim. Frogs feed mostly on insects and other small animals such as spiders, earthworms, and minnows. Frogs are mostly used by scientists to understand the health of the ecosystem because they prey on a wide variety of animals and thus can significantly affect an ecosystem.
Some species of frogs exhibit toxic skin. South America has some of the most toxic frogs in the world. To avoid being poisoned by a frog, it is essential to know how to distinguish between poisonous and non-poisonous frogs. Poisonous frogs are characterized by bright colors which are used to warn predators.
Are Frogs and Toads Different?
It is quite difficult to distinguish between a frog and a toad. The University Of Michigan Museum Of Zoology claims that there is no scientific distinction between a toad and a frog. Both of these species are classified under the Anura order; however, they belong to different families, with true toads being classified under the Bufonidae family which is made up of 580 species of toads.
However, there are slight differences between the two species, for instance, frogs are majorly aquatic while toads spend most of their time on land near water bodies. Frogs are also slightly longer as compared to toads; the skin of frogs is moist, but toads have somewhat dry and bumpy skin.