General Information

Where do frogs live?         What's the difference between a frog and a toad?

    What do they look like?           How long do frogs live?       What is a frog?

  What do frogs eat?         Who are the enemies of a frog?     Can frogs see well?  

  How does a frog protect himself from an enemy?

Why are frogs important?    How do frogs move?

What are frogs?

Frogs are amphibians  (am-FIB-e-ans) that belong to a group called vertebrates which mean animals that have a backbone.   The word amphibian comes from a Greek word that means "two lives."  Amphibians are cold - blooded.  This means that their inside body  temperatures are about  the same as the temperature outside.  Their skin absorbs water into their body so they don't have to drink water in order to survive.  Frogs have very strong legs for leaping great distances.





Where do frogs live?

Frogs may be found anywhere in the world (excluding Antarctica), although most frogs are found in the tropics. Most species are found in tropical regions.  You can find frogs in or near places that have water.  Some frogs never go into the water they live mainly on land.  Some frogs even live in trees.  These frogs have tiny, sticky pads on their fingers and toes to help them cling to the trees they climb.  

Some frogs burrow.  One old myth says that frogs fall from the sky during a rain.  Actually these burrow frogs leave their burrows during or after a rain at the start of mating season.  Because people seldom see these types of frogs the rest of the year, they imagine the animals fell from the sky with the rain. These burrower frogs live on land and have short hind legs and cannot hop.  Frogs that live in the colder places hibernate during the winter.  They either bury themselves in mud in a pond or marsh or  live in a burrow.

If you're looking for a frog, probably the best time to look is at night with a strong torch - when you shine it on the eyes of a frog you'll see a little red flash (like a fox's eyes).

What do frogs look like?

A frog is a small, tailless animal with bulging eyes.  Almost all frogs have long back legs and short front legs, a flat head, and body with no neck.  Adult frogs have no tail, though one North American species has a short tail - like structure.  Most frogs have a sticky tongue attached to the front part of the mouth.  They can rapidly flip out the tongue to capture prey. They may vary in color or size.  Most frogs are green or brown, but some have colorful markings. 

The smallest species of frog grow only 1/2 inch long.  The largest measures nearly a foot! (The giant or Goliath, frog of west-central Africa).    

Frog or Toad

A frog usually has smooth, moist,  skin, is slimy and jumps, and spends most of their lives in or near water. A toad tends to be dry, warty-looking a walks, and spends more time living on land. 

A group of frogs is called an army, while a group of toads is called a knot. 

What does a frog eat?

Frogs don't hunt for their food.  Their big eyes are on top of their head so they can see all the way around. Frogs eat other animals, typically bugs and worms. Frogs help humans because they eat so many insect pests. Some large species of frogs, like the African bullfrog, will try to eat just about anything, including other frogs as well as small fish, reptiles, and mammals.


How long do frogs live?

 Very little is known at all about the natural lifespan of frogs.  This is because it's pretty hard to track a frog all of its life! 

However, some records show that in captivity, many species of frogs and toads can live for surprisingly long times. They generally seem to average somewhere between 4 and 15 years!

The longest lifespan entered was a European Common Toad at 40 years!!

How does a frog protect itself from enemies?

 Not all species of frog protect themselves the same way.  Some frogs have poison glands in their skin.  The skin secretes the liquid and covers the body with the poison.  Some frogs use their colors to protect themselves. This warns the enemies that they will either taste bad or they may be poisonous. 

Who are the enemies of a frog?

Frogs have many enemies.  Foxes, bats,  rats, birds, fish, raccoons, turtles, snakes, and humans are a frog's enemy.  But human beings are the worst!  We destroy their homes and breeding places by replacing natural areas with cities, homes, and farms,  We also pollute and therefore poison the water in which frogs live.

Why are frogs important?

Frogs benefit us in many ways.  They eat large number of insects.  They provide us with food.  The meaty hind legs of larger frogs are considered a delicacy in many countries.  In the United States, people eat mainly the legs of bullfrogs, green frogs, and leopard frogs.  Frogs are also used in labs to help researchers to test new drugs and students in school dissect them to learn about anatomy.

Can a frog see well?

Frogs have fairly good eyesight, which helps them in capturing food and avoiding any enemies.  A frog's eyes bulge out so he can see in almost any direction. 


How do frogs move?

Frogs that swim use their powerful hind legs and webbed feet to push them through the water.  On land, the frogs hop.  They use their very strong hind legs to leap.  Most frogs can jump ten times their body length.




Most of the images on this page have come from The Frogland Site