members of the zoological class called Amphibian.
Amphibians are cold-blooded vertebrate animals. They differ from
reptiles in that they lack scales and generally return to water to
breed. Toads are in the frog family. One of the most common questions
is, "What is the difference between Frogs and Toads?" Most are surprised
to hear that all Toads actually
are Frogs! There
are three types of Amphibians. (frogs and toads), (salamanders and
newts) and (worm-like amphibians). Amphibians together with reptiles
make up a larger group called Herps. The study of reptiles and
amphibians is called Herpetology. Herp comes from the Greek word
herpeton, which basically means "creepy crawly things that move about on
Most frogs do in fact have teeth of a sort.
They have a ridge of very small cone teeth around the upper edge of the
jaw. These are called
Frogs often also have what are called
Vomerine Teeth on the roof of their mouth.
They don't have anything that could be called teeth on their lower jaw,
so they usually swallow their food whole. The so-called "teeth" are
mainly used to hold the prey and keep it in place till they can get a
good grip on it and squash their eyeballs down to swallow their meal.
Toads, however, do NOT have any teeth!
Frogs can hear using big round ears on the sides of their head called a
tympanum. Tympanum means drum. The size and distance between the ears
depends on the wavelength and frequency of a male frogs call. On some
frogs, the ear is very hard to see!
Ever wonder how frogs that can get so LOUD manage not to hurt their own
ears? Some frogs make so much noise that they can be heard for miles!
How do they keep from blowing out their own eardrums?
Well, actually, frogs have special ears that are connected to their
lungs. When they hear noises, not only does the eardrum vibrate, but the
lung does too! Scientists think that this special pressure system is
what keeps frogs from hurting themselves with their noisy calls!
are one of the best leapers on the planet! Did you know that frogs can
launch themselves over 20 times their own length using those big strong
legs of theirs? That would be like if you could jump 100 feet! The
average flea can jump up to 150 times its own length. A kangaroo can
leap about 4 1/2 times its length. Elephants can't jump at all!
The longest frog jump on record measured 33 feet 5.5 inches. It was made
by a frog named in South Africa.
very special skin! They don't just wear it; they drink and breathe
Frogs don't usually swallow water like we do. Instead they absorb most
of the moisture they need through their skin.
Not only that, but frogs also rely on getting extra oxygen (in addition
to what they get from their lungs) from the water by absorbing it
through their skin. Because frogs get oxygen through their skin when
it's moist, they need to take care of their skin or they might
suffocate. Sometimes you'll find frogs that are slimy. This is because
the frog skin secretes mucus that helps keep it moist. Even with the
slimy skin, these frogs need to stay near water. Toads on the other hand
have tougher skin that doesn't dry out as fast, so they can live farther
from water than most frogs.
In addition to jumping in water, frogs and toads can get moisture from
dew, or they can burrow underground into moist soil.
Frogs shed their skin regularly to keep it healthy. Some frogs shed
their skin weekly, others as often as every day! This looks pretty
yucky...they start to twist and turn and act like they have the hiccups.
They do this to stretch themselves out of their old skin! Finally, the
frog pulls the skin off over its head, like a sweater, and then (this is
gross) the frog EATS IT!!!!!)