35+ Interesting Facts About Frogs

  1. Frogs are small tailless amphibians with protruding eyes and strong hind limbs. Their closest living relatives are salamanders.
  2. A species of frog was present in Antarctica 40 million years ago. It was the first fossil of a modern amphibian discovered in this continent. (Source)
  3. There are more than 6,000 species of frogs. According to estimates, these amphibians have been on Earth for over 200 million years.
  4. Frogs inhabit all major landmasses except Antarctica, freezing high altitudes, and some remote oceanic islands. However, they are most abundant in the tropics.
  5. Various frog species have adapted to live in different environments. These include forests, deserts, tundra, and several other habitats.
  6. Frogs and toads belong to the same amphibian order Anura and have many similar features. However, the most prominent differences between these two animals are their skin and the size of their legs. Frogs generally have longer legs and smooth mucus-covered skins compared to shorter legs and rough skins in toads. 
  7. Frog tongues are ten times softer than human tongues and are one of the softest biological materials. This softness makes the tongue shock absorber and enables it to stretch more than twice its thickness when catching prey. These tongues have a unique stickiness whose flow changes under stress. Due to the viscosity of the tongue, the frog uses its eyes to swallow prey. (Source)
  8. Unlike other frogs that depend on their sticky tongue to capture prey, South American horned frogs use their powerful bite force to capture and swallow animals of their size. Their extraordinary head width empowers their jaws and enables them to eat big animals such as lizards, rodents, snakes, and other frogs. (Source)
  9. Most frogs have webbed feet. It is most prominent in frogs that live in water or on trees because webbing assist in swimming and gliding. Frogs that inhabit the ground usually lack webbing on their feet. 
    A tree frog with webbed feet
    Webbed-feet assist frogs in swimming and gliding

  10. Frogs started producing sounds 180 million years ago, making them the first land animals with vocal cords. Several male frogs have vocal sacs that produce sounds like a megaphone. Some frogs are audible from a mile away. (Source)
  11. Unlike most female frogs that do not call, concave-eared torrent frogs select their mates by producing ultrasound calls. It is also one of the two frog species with concave ears. Whalesdolphinsbats, and some insects are the only other animals using ultrasonic communication. (Source)
  12. The two main defensive techniques of frogs against predators are their poisonous skins and camouflage. Poisonous frogs are brightly colored, while the skin colors of other frogs usually resemble their environment. Like chameleons, some frogs can also change color.
  13. Frogs use their skin, lungs, and mouth cavity for respiration. They use skin for respiration when underwater, while their primary respiratory method during rest is via the lining of their mouth. Their respiration through the lungs is secondary due to the absence of ribs and the diaphragm. (Source)
  14. In 2008, scientists discovered the world’s first lungless frog from Indonesia. The Bornean flat-headed frog can survive without lungs by absorbing oxygen through its skin. After salamanders, it is the only known tetrapod (four-limbed animal) without lungs. (Source)
  15. Like many other animals, frogs also shed their skin regularly. However, they also eat their dead skin to utilize its nutrition.
  16. A fungal disease has caused the decline and extinction of several amphibian species. However, the intensity of this pathogen is less in frogs due to the protective function of the microbiome on their skin. (Source)
  17. Many frog species hibernate underwater, in burrows, and on the ground. Some frogs that hibernate on land can freeze in extreme weather. However, a high accumulation of glucose in their vital organs prevents freezing and assists them in surviving. (Source)
  18. The majority of frog species live in freshwater habitats. Others live on land, in trees, or burrows.
  19. Egg fertilization in frogs happens outside the female body. Female frogs in various species lay hundreds or thousands of eggs in or around fresh water.
  20. Tadpoles usually eat algae, while adult frogs are generally carnivores. Their diet includes insects, worms, and arthropods. Large frogs may also consume rodents, reptiles, and other frogs.
  21. Frogs’ legs are a delicacy in several European countries, particularly France and Belgium. European Union imports limbs of millions of frogs annually. Indonesia exports nearly 67% of frogs’ legs worldwide. (Source)
  22. The African goliath frog is the largest frog species, having an average length of 30 cm (11.8 in). However, the largest frog of this species, captured in 1889, had an overall length of 36.83 cm (14.5 in) and a weight of 3.66 kg (8 lb.). (Source)
  23. A frog species in Papua New Guinea is the smallest known amphibian and one of the smallest vertebrates in the world. Its average length and weight are 7 mm (0.27 in) and 0.01 grams (0.0003 ounces). (Source)
  24. The largest-ever frog species on Earth was the devil toad, a horned frog present 70 million years ago. This frog, discovered in 1993 in Madagascar, was over 40 cm. A possible food of this amphibian was small dinosaurs due to its huge mouth. Horned frogs are currently limited to South America, which proves an ancient land link between Africa and South America. (Source)
  25. Experiments have proved that frogs can jump horizontally and vertically using their hip joint, ankle, and knee joint. The wide range of jumping angles is present in frogs specialized in leaping and those with multiple gaits (those that walk and climb). (Source)
  26. The South African sharp-nosed frog has the longest leap related to its body size among frogs. It can jump more than 90 times its length. (Source)
  27. Scientists have discovered a few frog species from Brazil and New Zealand that cannot control their jumps. Sometimes, they land on their backs due to the small size of a balancing system present in the ears of vertebrates. (Source
    Close-up of a frog's head
    Frogs have 180 degree field of vision

  28. Frogs can see better at a distance than near vision, while their field of vision is nearly 180 degrees. A prominent feature of their eyes is their excellent night vision.
  29. There are several differences between male and female frogs. Male frogs are usually smaller than females. Males have vocal sacs and make continuous loud calls, particularly during the mating season. In some species, male frogs are more brightly colored than females.
  30. Some frog species spend their entire or majority of life in burrows. These burrowing frogs have powerful forelimbs and hind limbs that assist in digging the ground.
  31. There are more than 800 species of tree frogs on all continents except Antarctica. Their fingers and toes contain adhesive disks, enabling them to climb trees effortlessly.
  32. Some tree frogs, known as flying frogs, can glide for 40 to 50 feet. Their powerful hind limbs, lightweight bodies, and special membranes of skin (acting as parachutes) assist them in adopting this movement.
  33. Scientists have used frogs, particularly African clawed frogs, for various lab experiments due to their numerous features. The first frog was cloned 30 years before the cloning of the first mammal, Dolly the Sheep. (Source)
  34. Glass frogs have the unique feature of turning 61% of their body transparent while sleeping. They do so by packing most of the blood into their liver without complication. This finding can assist scientists in understanding blood clotting in humans. (Source)
  35. Frogs cannot drink water from their mouth. They absorb water through patches of skin on their belly and the underside of their thighs.
  36. In 2017, scientists discovered the first amphibian that glow in the dark. The polka-dot tree frog can glow under twilight and moonlight. (Source)

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