The US state if Oklahoma is located in the country’s South Central area. Oklahoma has an area of around 69,899 square miles, which makes it the 20th largest state by land area. The state became the 46th state to be admitted to the union after its admission back on November 16, 1907. Historically, the state has been inhabited since the last ice age, which means that the history, culture, and symbolism of the state are extremely vast. Some of the symbols are recent while others go all the way back to the 1800s.
The American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) has been Oklahoma’s official state amphibian since 1997. Incidentally, the bullfrog is also the state amphibian of the states of Missouri and Ohio. The amphibian was chosen after a resolution by the state that the bullfrog is crucial to the ecology of the state. In addition, the state believed that it is representative of the crucial role of amphibians in nature.
The massive frogs are the biggest in the whole of North America with lengths of between 3.6 and 6 inches and a weight of up to 1.1 pounds. Typically, the females are larger than the males. Their bodies can have varying colors including dark green, brown, dark brown, or black. Their underbellies can be either white or yellow. They also have prominent eyes, tiny teeth for grasping, long hind legs, and short forelegs.
The amphibian is an opportunistic predator with a massive appetite. The frog will eat any animal that it can overpower and swallow in full. Some of the small animals on the diet include small reptiles, fish, tadpoles, rodents, bats, birds, snails, and other animals. The diet may also include other bullfrogs. Their jaws have a powerful grip that allows them to overpower and immobilize prey before feeding.
Their reproductive season can last up to three months. The males call out to the females in their loud voices in order to attract them to the breeding sites. Since males have a higher and longer sex drive, breeding usually comes with a lot of competition for the few active females. A female will then lay a massive batch of eggs numbering up to 20,000 once it chooses a male. As the eggs are released, the clutching male on the back produces sperm for fertilization.
Once fertilized, the eggs hatch between three and five days. The tadpoles initially prefer shallow waters while adulthood brings about a movement to deeper waters. In the wild, they can have a lifespan of up to 10 years.
Habitat and Range
The bullfrog is found throughout the state of Oklahoma in almost any significant water body. Their preferred habitat is one that is large and deep, which includes places like lakes, bogs, sluggish streams, cattle tanks, and others. Aside from Oklahoma, the frog is found in other states such as Nevada, Arizona, Washington, Utah, and others. Due to its wide range, it is classified by the IUCN as a creature of least concern.