Frogs are from the order Anura or tailless member of the Amphibian family. Frogs can be found in many parts of the world, but the greatest amount can be found in the tropical rainforests of Africa, South America and Asia. Frogs are amphibians, a type of animal that is able to live on land or in water, and although they have adapted to various weather conditions, frogs are unable to live in the sea or any salt water.
The biggest and smallest frog
The smallest frog can be found in Papua New Guinea. This species of frog (Paedophryne amauensis), was just discovered in 2009, and grows to a length of 7.7 mm. On the other extreme is the Goliath frog (Conraua goliath), which can be found in West Africa. The body length of this frog can reach 33 cm (13 inch).
The transparent frog
There are many interesting varieties of frogs to be found, but probably the most fascinating to look at is the “Glass frog”, which can be found only in North, Central and South America. What makes these frogs so unusual is their transparent skin. They really do appear to be made of glass, and if seen up close, one can even see the internal organs, blood vessels, and bones.
Their leg and ability to jump
Most frogs have well-developed hind quarters, which assists them in swimming and jumping. Whereas webbing on their feet help them to swim, the length of their back legs can help them to jump up to 20 times their own body length in a single leap.
Their skin can adsorb water
Being amphibians, frogs are able to survive without drinking water. What makes this possible is the fact that they can absorb water through their skin. If you were to see a frog stick out its tongue, you would notice that it is long and sticky. The stickiness helps them to capture small insects such as flies and cockroaches. Surprisingly, some of the larger types of frogs even feast on snakes or small mammals. Frogs have even been seen to eat birds and other frogs!
Other physical characteristics
Frogs have some wonderful, “built-in” survival mechanisms. They are able to change their skin color, so as to match their surroundings. They also have eyes and noses that are located on the tops of their heads, allowing them to breathe, even when almost fully submerged in water. When they go beneath the water’s surface, they are assisted by having a transparent eyelid (known as a nictitating membrane). This protects their eyes, while still enabling them to see underwater. Birds and reptiles also have this ingenious type of eyelid.
Frogs lay thousands of eggs
When reproducing, frogs are able to lay 4,000 eggs at one time. These frog eggs mature through a variety of stages, from tadpole stage to adult frog stage. During these stages, the frog will undergo changes in body structure and physiology.
Frogs make sounds
Many people will have heard the calls of frogs on hot summer nights. Each species of frog has its own unique call, and the male frog will use his call to signal a female of the same species, or perhaps to mark out its territory.
Fear of frogs
Finally, it must be noted that many people have a fear of frogs. If you have such a fear, you may wish to refer to it by using its proper scientific term: “Ranidaphobia”!