Frog (animal) – Information, poisonous species and characteristics

We explain everything about frogs, where they live, what they feed on and other characteristics. Also, what are poison frogs.

The most agile species are usually called frogs and toads those that live more on the ground.

What are frogs?

It is known by the name of frogs or toads to the species of amphibian animals belonging to the order of the anurans (anura), that is, devoid of glue. They are recognized by their compact body, their sticky protruding tongue, and their powerful hind legs, with which they can jump of different sizes.

It is the largest group of all known amphibians, with around 6,600 species described in 54 different families, and with a presence in practically the entire planet.

There is no universal technical differentiation for when to speak of a frog and when of a toad, although the first name is usually used for the most agile, climbing, slender and colorful species, and the second for the less agile species, with rough skin and dark, which tend to live more on the ground.

Frogs are very ancient animals, the first species of which emerged sometime in the Triassic Period, around 250 million years ago. They have an important presence in different cultures, often as an icon of ugliness and disgust, but also as a symbol of transformation, given the metamorphosis that marks the transition from juvenile aquatic life to adult terrestrial life.

See also: Jungle animals

Characteristics of the frog

frogs characteristics
The frog’s tongue can be quickly shot forward.

Broadly speaking, frogs are characterized by the following:

  • They are amphibian animals, that is, they live on the border between water and land, performing some functions exclusively in each of these habitats. Depending on the species, they may be more or less likely to spend their entire day in the water, as their skin tends to dry out.
  • They are generally small animals, but its size can vary immensely depending on the species, from 8.4 millimeters to 30 cm wingspan (the Goliath frog, the largest in the world).
  • They are cold-blooded animals, unable to regulate their body temperature, so they require exposure or shelter from solar energy to warm up or cool down.
  • Their bodies are compact, wide-mouthed with or without teeth small, particularly large and bulging eyes, and four limbs. The two rear ones are particularly robust, since they allow you to jump with more or less power, as well as to swim very quickly.
  • They have a protractile tongue, that is, that it can be fired rapidly forward and in which the prey are attached, which are immediately dragged towards the mouth.
  • Although their respiration is produced by lungs (and gills during their larval stage), your skin is capable of exchanging gases with the environment. Many species are also capable of secreting certain contact toxins capable of irritating or poisoning their attackers.

Where do frogs live?

frogs habitat where they live
Many species of frogs have adapted to arid regions.

Frogs have a presence practically in the whole world, except in Antarctica, almost always in regions close to fresh water (rivers, lagoons, lakes, etc.), when not directly in the water. However, many species have adapted to arid regions and are able to survive further away from water, returning to it only for spawning. They are particularly numerous and diverse in tropical jungle regions.

What do frogs eat?

Frogs are predators, and their diet is generally composed of small arthropods (insects, arachnids, etc.), snails, worms and larvae, although larger species can also hunt small reptiles, amphibians and even small rodents. Usually, they are very unspecific in their diet.

How do frogs reproduce?

reproduction frogs
The fertilized eggs are deposited in the environment by the female.

The reproduction of frogs is normally sexual and oviparous, that is, it depends on the copulation of the male and the female, and the latter then deposits a set of fertilized eggs in the environment. The latter can have a different shape and different fixation mechanisms in the environment, depending on the species. Some frogs even carry fertilized eggs on their backs, awaiting the birth of their young.

Nevertheless, the life cycle of the frog undergoes a major metamorphosis, since the young, called tadpoles, hatch from the egg ready for an aquatic life. They are elongated, equipped with gills and a tail that allows them to swim.

Once they reach a certain size, they prepare to leave the water, exchanging their gills for lungs and losing their tails, until they become fully adult frogs.

How long do frogs live?

The longevity of a frog depends largely on its species: the largest ones live longer than the smallest ones, and its life span can range from 4 to 10 years.

Poisonous frogs

poison frogs
Poison frogs generally have bright, colorful skin.

The skin of many frogs and toads is capable of secreting certain toxins for their defense, which when in contact with the skin or mucous membranes of an attacker produce irritation, burning or even poisoning. Generally, these frogs have a bright and colorful skin, which in the language of nature serves as a warning.

Most of these frogs belong to the dendrobatid family (Dendrobatidae), popularly known as darthead frogs or arrowhead frogs, and which consist of around 200 species, mostly native to Central and South America.