Amazing and Wonderful Frogs
Frogs have been around for millions of years; in fact, their immediate ancestors roamed the Earth with the dinosaurs.
Frogs are tailless amphibians and can live both in water and on land. Their life cycle takes place in both environments. A mother frog lays her eggs in the water. In a few days tiny tadpoles wriggle out of the eggs. Tadpoles are fishlike creatures that breathe through gills instead of lungs. To become an adult frog, a tadpole loses its tail and develops lungs and limbs.
Frogs are found throughout the world except in very cold places.
A frog catches prey by flicking out its long, sticky tongue. Most frogs eat insects and worms. Some also eat other frogs, rodents, and reptiles.
Frogs are closely related to toads. But a toad’s skin is dry and bumpy. Its legs are short, so it can only hop, not leap.
The blue-sided leaf frog is a lowland species that has been found widely in central Costa Rica. Females average about 7.5 cm in length and males about 6.4 cm. They are found near woodland pools.
The California red–legged frog is the largest native frog in the western United States. The frog’s skin is rough and thick and mostly reddish–brown or gray in color. California red–legged frogs eat invertebrates, small mammals, and other amphibians. Adult frogs are nocturnal, while younger frogs are active both day and night. They live in rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, and wetland areas near the water’s edge.
The Goliath frog is the largest frog in the world. It can weigh more than 3.2 kilograms and measure almost 76 centimeters long with its legs extended. Its body alone can measure more than 30.5 centimeters. Its eyes can measure almost 2.5 centimeters in diameter. Adult Goliath frogs feed on insects, crustaceans, fish, and amphibians. This frog was first identified in 1906.
The smallest frogs, that live in Cuba, have a body length from 8.5 mm to 12 mm.
The red-eyed tree frog is a brightly colored frog that lives in rain forests of Central and South America.
The bullfrog is the largest North American frog. It can be 20 centimeters long.
The poison-arrow frogs of tropical America have become of great interest to pharmaceutical companies. Each species has an unique mix of biochemicals that may have a role to play in the treatment of human diseases.
Air pollution and global warming may be contributing to the decline in the frog population. The primary threat to frogs is the destruction of their habitat.
Our ancestors threw frogs into the milk, so it did not sour, because their skin has bactericidal properties.
However, not all types of frogs are harmless. For example, a frog that lives in the jungles of South America, and Colombia, was recognized as the most venomous land animals on the planet. The poison of this frog is a thousand times stronger than potassium cyanide and 35 times more potent than the venom of the Central Asian cobra.
The frog is a symbol of good luck in Japan.
In ancient Egypt, the frogs were the symbol of the resurrection, and even were mummified along with the dead.