Frogs space not a single species, however rather a diverse grouping of pets that, if being similar in many ways additionally differ greatly in others. We all recognize that frogs have superior jumping abilities, own a fantastically lengthy tongue, and also make excellent and also exciting pets, however what else?

That’s what will be described here, together hopefully by looking at both the technical and physical next of frogs, any and all concerns you may have actually will be answered. Questions like: What do scientists consider a frog? space they different from toads? and also why does the look the method it does?

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1 The Scientific group of Frogs2 qualities of a Frog

The Scientific category of Frogs

All living creatures loss into a unique place ~ above a large web that researchers have created to display the evolutionary relationships of every life creates (also known as your “phylogeny”).

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The scientific practice of this is dubbed “taxonomy,” and also it is great tool to aid understand where points fit in this large world that ours. In taxonomy, living things space classified by increasingly smaller categories that highlight distinct features of the creature – even if it is they be physical or way of life differences.

The first distinction made is the most general, and it’s dubbed the life form’s “Domain.” In descending bespeak of most general to least, following up is Kingdom, then Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and finally Species.

So where perform frogs fit on here, and what does the tell us about them? Well an initial and foremost, frogs room “eukaryotes,” i beg your pardon is the domain the all animals, plants, fungi, and also essentially all life apart from bacteria autumn into. The Domain qualifies and also describes the cells of the organisms, yet doesn’t administer much else.

Their kingdom is also basic one, as they autumn into the “animalia” kingdom. Essentially, this just means that castle aren’t plants or mushroom (with technological classifications, of course). Next up is your Phylum, and also here is where things begin to acquire a little bit specific.

Frogs space in the Phylum Chordata, which essentially separates the vertebrates from the invertebrates. Fishes, amphibians, birds, reptiles, and mammals every are found in this Phylum. The creatures the aren’t in Chordata (which is about 90% of *all animals*!) include insects, spiders, snails, worms, and also many other invertebrates.

The skeleton that a frog.

So far, all we can deduce indigenous a frog’s phylogeny (that is, their distinctive taxonomic classifications) is that:

Frogs are not bacteriaFrogs space animalsFrogs space vertebrates

That is in reality a many specifying information, however given what most world know about frogs, it doesn’t assist us much.

The beauty v taxonomy, though, is the each succeeding classification/grouping inherently gets an ext specific and provides an ext nuanced information, and for frogs that truly starts when you reach their Class, “Amphibia.” The surname “Amphibia” is derived from the Greek an interpretation “double life,” alluding to this creatures life both in water and on land.

All creatures that exist in ~ the “Amphibia” course are referred to as “amphibians,” and there are a couple of other specifics the accompany this classification. For example, every amphibians are, at part point, “terrestrial quadrupeds.” This method that they will move roughly on floor with four legs in ~ some suggest in their life. They likewise flaunt both gills and lungs, although at different points in their life cycles. Frogs, because that example, have gills in your larval stage (as tadpoles), which space then changed by lungs together they move to land. That course, frogs are not the just creature to be discovered in the Amphibia Class, together salamanders, toads, and also other niche amphibians are defined here as well.

Other qualities of amphibians include an inability to regulate body temperature, a limitation come warm, moist climates, and also confinement to bodies of freshwater.

The course Amphibia can normally be further broken down into three Orders: Caudata, Apoda, and also Anura. Caudata (“tail-bearing”) describes Salamanders; Apoda (“without legs”) describes specific worm-like amphibians; and also Anura (“without tail”) defines frogs and “true toads,” and also is where our focus will floor next.

Frogs room Anuras

Now, when Anura is obtained from the Greek definition “without tail,” the is no the only information it imparts. It also tells united state that the organism has “unequal limbs”, normally indicating much longer hind legs than forelegs. And also it also partially describes the way of fertilization, v all members that the Anura class participating in external fertilization (the eggs are laid first, opposite of, say, chickens). Due to the unequal body length, these organisms are also often great jumpers.

Of course, maintaining in heat with just how things have actually been going, this is not the end of the descriptive trace we’ve gone on. Family is next in heat after Order, and also this is really where things obtain precise. There are 7 of these family members in the stimulate Anura, and each to represent some type of one of two people frog or toad. However, in colloquial speech when someone recommendations a “frog” or a “toad,” there room usually only two families that space relevant: family Bufonidae, or “true toads,” and Family Ranidae, or “true frogs.”

Other Families incorporate the household Hylidae, i m sorry boasts tree frogs; the family members Ascaphidae which has the just tailed frog; and the family Pelobatidae, which includes the narrow-toed toads (the narrow-toads). There space a couple of other Families, and at this point, we have the right to see that the differences in between them are much an ext specific 보다 the differences we were seeing in between Orders or Classes.

Frogs vs Toads

This begs an important question that most of us have pondered at one allude or another: What is the difference between a frog and a toad? therefore far, we understand the similarities between the two: they are both no bacteria, lock both are animals and have spines, they both room amphibians, and also they both have long hind legs, no tail, and fertilize externally.


While that does tell united state a lot, we deserve to still get an ext specific by compare their relative Families against each other. For basic purposes, we will certainly look exclusively at the “true” toads and frogs.

Specifically, we will certainly look at exactly how members of household Ranidae, the true “frogs,” to compare to members of family Bufonidae, the true “toads.” that is additionally important to keep in mind that technically toads are yet a subset the frogs, which means that every toads room frogs yet not every frogs space toads!

The many notable and also perhaps best difference in between the two are their habitats. Because a frog’s sleek, damp skin requires constant moisturization, castle hunker under in areas with a quick and constant source that water. This is contrasted v toads of course, who aren’t beholden come water in the same means frogs are. They choose to clear up in the drier atmospheres that their dry, bumpy skin allows for. Toads also have far fewer predators 보다 frogs do, which is again a an outcome of their skin.

While a frog’s skin walk very small to deter one assailant, toad’s skin actually has two defense mechanisms: a bitterness taste and a repugnant odor. But before you begin thinking that toads are the absolute finest when contrasted to frogs, the is necessary to note a last distinction. Frogs are essentially superheroes to toads, and also the reason lies in their legs.

With the extra length and power that their long hind foot provide, frogs have the capacity to quickly escape one attack. And also these legs, when coupled v a frog’s slender, aerodynamic body and protrusive all-seeing eyes, make it clean why frogs space the best (especially when contrasted to the squat, wide-body, and short hind foot of a toad).

Characteristics of a Frog

In this section, we will look in ~ the qualities of a frog. Their skin, eyes, feet, and also legs to it is in precise.

A snapshot of a Fire-bellied toad


We saw previously that it’s necessary for frogs to keep their skin hydrated, and the factor behind this is pretty interesting. Very first and foremost, frogs nothing drink v their mouths. Instead, they actually absorb any moisture or water directly through the skin; it would be pretty silly to check out a frog gulping water as it streams v a pond.

More importantly 보다 that, however, is the main reason frogs need to keep their skin moist: it help them “breathe.” Technically, frogs do have actually lungs the they usage to breathe v their mouth. This sadly isn’t enough for the small amphibians though, for this reason they’ve evolved a means to inject simply a little much more oxygen right into their body, and also that’s by soaking up it v their skin.

There was just a tiny caveat with this evolution, as dry skin showed to be very poor for oxygen absorption. To fix this, frogs adapted the abovementioned moisturization to store things to run swimmingly. They don’t just rub a small bit the water top top themselves and call that a day, though. Instead, your skin actually includes glands (they have what is dubbed “glandular skin”) that produce a mucous-like layer, which both stays clear of them from dry out and facilitates oxygen absorption!

But v every advantage comes a disadvantage, and also frogs room no exception. Their skin is wonderful organ that has a variety of necessary functions, and also it is as result of this the it is additionally remarkably fragile. Riddled with holes and also pores that help water and oxygen move across the membrane, your light, breathable skin can’t execute too lot to resist a predator as soon as it latches on. Around once a week, assuming the doesn’t gain eaten, a frog will shed, and also oftentimes eat, its own skin.


A frog’s eyes are among its most noticeable features. These bulging, protrusive eyes might seem choose an abnormality, however they actually share attributes with most eyes that prey and also have very details functions. If you pay fist to the eyes of any kind of prey – indigenous rabbits to giraffes, — girlfriend will an alert that their eyes rest on the sides of your head, if predatory animals (bears, lions) have actually eyes facing forwards.

Photo credit: Ren West / Flickr

This is because of the differing attributes that these pets require; whereas predators are looking to focus on the prey directly ahead of castle (whether in a follow or a prowl), animals of prey room constantly looking about them for a predator, or, if it’s as well late because that that, an escape.

Frogs space no exemption to this. In fact, if anything, castle a good exemplar. Your protrusive eyes enable frogs come see almost 180 degrees roughly them: reflecting them those in front of them, as well as to both sides, simultaneously.

Their eyes also aid out in a couple of other ways. To start with a weird one, once a frog swallows it actually pulls that eyes right into its mouth to assist shove the food right into its stomach. This is why, if you’ve ever before seen a frog capture a fly, it closes its eyes together it eats it. As well as this, frogs eyes also allow for enhanced underwater vision by lowering a third, transparent eyelid, and they enable for fantastic night vision.

Feet and also Legs

A frog’s most distinct and also memorable non-physical properties is for sure its jump. Granted, castle can capture flies v their significant tongue, and they execute fill the night with eerie croaks, however these both pale in comparison to this an excellent gift that their legs have actually afforded them.

Many frogs room equipped with long, powerful hind foot that aid them both ~ above land and also in water. In fact, some varieties of soil frogs are even able come hop further than ten times your body length. And as because that frogs that generally live in the water, these powerful tools offer as a method for quick aquatic propulsion.

The feet that a frog just further assist what your legs do. With 4 toes in the front, frogs manipulate their forefeet in a variety of ways. Some aquatic species, for example, employ them together a method to steer as soon as swimming in the water, i m sorry in some instances could be the difference between life and death.

A frog’s hind feet different from that forefeet, and this difference is higher in some species and much more diminished in others. To usage aquatic varieties as an instance again, these frogs flaunt webbing in between their five-toed feet that considerably enhance your swimming abilities.

Or come look at details terrestrial species, apart from the obvious function of jumping and leaping these hind foot also aid some frogs come dig! This deserve to be for miscellaneous reasons. One such reason is for hydration.

As was stated previously, all “true frogs” must keep their skin moist and also hydrated, yet sometimes that just isn’t feasible because of environmental conditions. In these scenarios, part frogs will bury us underground to escape indigenous the heat and also acquire some hidden, underground water.


Frogs room no straightforward animal. They are a complex and variegated grouping of creatures that span the water come land, native dank and also humid climates to drier and hotter ones.

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Their bodies were equipped for remarkable movement and detection, allowing them come avoid most threats by their remarkable speeds and also control. And while they might be fragile, they space also an extremely resilient together their bodies administer them v the sources to respond to threats that predators and also the environment. And no doubt this incredible pets will do a good pet and also friend for anyone willing.