Growling grass frog (Litoria raniformis), Photo credit Philip Island Nature Park
Do you see frogs as weird and slimy creatures? Well yes… but in a fascinating way!
Discover or re-discover more about frogs with some interesting (I think?), random or fun facts…
🐸 – Part 1
- Frogs have been around for more than 200 million years and were the first land animals with vocal cords.
2. As of July 2021, more than 7300 species of frogs have been discovered in the world, including more than 240 species native to Australia.
More species are discovered every year!
3. That slimy aspect we mentioned before? Frogs are covered with a mucous coating. The mucous protects the moisture of their skin and helps the skin
absorb dissolved oxygen from the air or water.
4. Wait… absorb the oxygen through the skin? Yes! Frogs can breathe directly through their skin, above or underwater. Their skin is semi-permeable and
contains a large network of blood vessels, allowing the diffusion of the oxygen in and the carbon dioxide out. Frogs can also breath using their lungs,
which only develops when they become adults. There are other way a frog can breath but let’s keep it short for the moment!
5. Frogs have excellent night vision and it has been demonstrated recently that they are capable of seeing colors in the dark…
… even when humans cannot see anything at all! The bulging eyes also allow most frogs to see in front of them, to their sides and partially behind them –
even underwater thanks to their eyelid that enables them to keep their eyes open.
6. Talking about eyes… frogs can use their eyeballs to swallow their food! They pull their eyes downwards to help “push” the food down their throat.
Convenient when you swallow your preys whole! You can see it in action on this video captured by a citizen scientist: [click here]
7. Frogs do not drink like we do: they absorb water directly through their skin. Some frogs have a ‘drinking patch’ located underside of their body.
8. We often picture frogs living close to a beautiful pond… but the range of their distribution goes much further. The Wood frog (Rana sylvatica) lives north of
the Artic Circle and can survive with up to 65% of its body frozen. Glucose in its blood acts as an “antifreeze” to protect vital organs from damage while
9. On the other extreme, the Australian water-holding frog (Cyclorana platycephala) is a burrowing frog that can live in the desert. It stores water in its tissues
and in its bladder. When full, it can go for years underground without more water!
10. Males are usually smaller than females. During mating, the male grasps the female – they are said to be in amplexus. For Australian frogs, the male either
clasps the female under the armpits, or around the waist… but other frogs around the world can get a little more creative when it comes to positions!
The amplexus can last between a few hours to a few months.
There are so many fun facts when it comes to frog. You can find some more with our First Frog Quiz!
And we will complete the list with a Part 2 and very likely a Part 3 and… you get it, frogs are amazing.
Peron’s Tree Frogs (Litoria peronii) in amplexus, Photo credit Jodi Rowley