Frogs are Amphibians…Frogs belong to a group of animals called amphibians. (am-fib-ee-anz).Amphibian means two-lives. Frogs begin their lives in the water as eggs andthen tadpoles and when they are fully developed they live on land. Scientistsbelieve that there are more than 4,000 different kinds of amphibians on Earth.Toads, newts, salamanders and caecilians (blind worms) are also members ofthe amphibian group.
Frogs are cold-blooded…Frogs are cold-blooded which means that their bodies are thesame temperature as the air or water around them. When theyare cold they will lay in the sun to warm up and when they get toowarm they will go into the water to cool their bodies off.
Where do frogs live? Frogs are found all over the world, and in every climate, except Antarctica. They can be found near any, and every, body of fresh water but prefer ponds,lakes, and marshes, because the water doesn’t move veryfast. Frogs cannot live in the sea or any salt water. Scientists have found frogs fossils that date back to theJurassic period over 140 million years ago.
Jelly covered Eggs… Frogs begin their lives astadpoles that are hatched in the water from tiny jelly- covered eggs. The mother frog can lay thousands of eggs at one time. Imaginehaving thousands of brothers and sisters! Tadpoles dont have eggs but frogs have eggs that turn into tadpoles then The jelly has an awful taste, frogs.which protects the eggs from Frog eggs look look little jelly likepredators until they are ready sacks with little black dots in the to hatch. middle.
Tadpoles…Tadpoles are born with gills, just like a fish, so that they can breatheunder water. They have a big head and a long tail. They definitely donot look like frogs, yet! Tadpoles have a tough life. It’s a good thingthey are fast swimmers to escape the many other creatures that huntthem in the ponds and lakes. They are a favorite food to fish andwater beetles.
Metamorphosi s Metamorphosis is the change of shape during an animal’s life. During metamorphosis the tadpole will develop back legs first, then front legs. Around 6 weeks of life the mouth starts to widen. Sometime around 10 weeks the froglet’s, as it is now called, eyes start to bulge out and the tail begins to shrink and eventually disappear. When the lungs finish developing the froglet makes it’s way onto the land and, Ta- da! It’s a frog!
Tadpole with legs to Froglet… After four weeks, the tadpole The tadpoles gills disappear and grows two hind, or back, legs. its lungs grow stronger.The tadpoles gills move inside its Two front legs grow where the body. gills were.
What do they eat? Frogs are carnivores, whichmeans that they will eat meat.Small to medium sized frogs eat insects such as flies, mosquitoes, moths anddragonflies. Larger frogs will eat larger insects like grasshoppers and worms.Some large frogs will even eat small snakes, mice, baby turtles, and even other smaller frogs!
What about that tongue..?Frog’s tongues are attached to the front of their mouths rather than at theback like humans. When a frog catches an insect it throws its sticky tongueout of it’s mouth and wraps it around its prey. The frog’s tongue then snapsback and throws the food down its throat.
Characteristic s Frogs have very good eyesight. They bulge out the sides of their heads in order for the frog to see in nearly all directions. Frogs also have an amazing sense of hearing. You can often tell the difference between a male and female frog by the size of their eardrum, which can be seen behind their eyes. If the eardrum is smaller than the eye, the frog is a female. On males their eardrum is the same size as the eye.
Characteristic s Frogs have very powerful back legs and webbed feet that help them jump great distances, as well as, swim. Frogs even use their legs to dig, or burrow, underground for hibernating (although not all frogs hibernate!) Every different species of frog has his or her own look. They come in many colors, patterns and sizes.
Predators …Frogs have many predators. Animal predators include birds, fish and reptiles. Some frogs are very good at camouflaging themselves so that they blend in with theirenvironment, making it harder for their enemies to find them. Some frogs canchange the colour of their skin depending on its surroundings.
Human Danger… Humans have become amajor danger for amphibiansof all types. Water pollution is causing many deformities in frogs as well as poisoning them, and loss of habitatthrough the building of roads and houses.In some countries, frog’s legs are considered a delicacy,which means that people love to eat them! Eew!(Pictured is the native Maud Island Frog)
New Zealand NativeFrogsNew Zealand has 4 native frog species.Frogs are declining everywhere in the world. More than most creatures,frogs are sensitive to disease, pollution, chemical poisons andenvironmental changes, as they absorb many things through their sensitiveskin.New Zealand’s, Hamiltons frog (pictured) is the most critically endangeredspecies, with less than 300 individuals remaining.