- Pets and Animals
Frogs and Toads
Why I love them
Call me crazy, but frogs are a great animal. They don't pester anyone, they don't sneak around your home, they aren't menacing, and they are soothing to listen to in the evenings. They also help get rid of those annoying insects that either bite you or creep you out. Just look at the amazing frogs and toads in these pictures, video, and news.
The Fire-Bellied Toad (Bombina Bombina)
These toads are usually dark grey or black with large black markings, or if they live in green leafy areas, they have stunning lime-colored backs that are decorated with black spots. Either way, their bellies are the same colors: red or orange with large black areas and small white dots; they can also have more black on their bellies than red or orange.
They grow from about 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, have a round snout, and eyes with a triangular pupil; but they do not have a flat eardrum on each side of the head as many other frogs do, and only have webbing on their hind feet. Males and females look much the same, except the male has a slightly bigger head (of course).
These toads are indigenous to central and eastern Europe, but not in the mountains. Sweden and the United Kingdom are home to some fire-bellied toads, but the toads were brought to these countries by some means, probably as pets.
Fire-bellied toads spend most of their life in or near their favorite watering hole, venturing out only on extremely warm days to look for more food. When the temperature drops below 60Â°F (15Â°C), they hide until warmth returns. When hibernation begins, they bury themselves deep in the mud and stay there from about October to April.
The Large photo of the Fire-bellied Toad below is courtesy of Roberto Verzo.
Fire Bellied Toad from Above
Frogs in the Office
Easy Origami Frog
The Pouched Frog (Assa Darlingtoni)
a.k.a.The Australian Marsupial Frog, the Hip-pocket Frog
These frogs are an inch long, more or less, and are usually grey to red-brown in color. The sides are dark grey to black and the belly is cream with brown spots, and there is a pink spot at the base of each arm. Some have inverted V-shaped bars on their backs, with some starting between the eyes and others starting as far down as the middle of the back. There is often a dark broken streak that runs from the nose through the eye and down each side of the body. These frogs have no webbing, but have swollen fingers and toes.
The Pouched Frogs live in the cool, moist, mountainous Australian rainforests, and are usually found under rocks, logs, or wet leaves. These frogs are unique in that they do not need water to breed. The female lays her eggs on the ground and both she and the male stand guard. The male Pouched Frog has twin pouches, one on each side and when the tadpoles hatch, the male climbs amongst the eggs allowing the tadpoles to slide over the male's body and wriggle into the pouches where they stay until they are fully developed frogs.
Remember this from Animal Planet?
Frogs in the Kitchen
The Golden Toad (Bufo periglenes)
Last seen in 1989, this beautiful Golden Toad is now considered extinct. They were once abundant in the high altitude tropical forests of Costa Rica, but scientists believe the climate change in this area of costa Rica have had this devastating effect on the Golden Frog population. Amphibians are extremely sensitive to climate changes that they are likened to "a canary in a coalmine".
The Golden Toad is not the only amphibian to have gone extinct in this manner, but between 1986-1987, many more species have become extinct in this region, but other species have also met their demise. The Harlequin Frog is now threatened and efforts are underway to save this species.
On March 12, 2008, a Carrikeri Harlequin Frog, not seen for 14 years and thought to be extinct, was found in the mountain forests of Columbia.
The greatest threat to frogs is disease, particularly, an infectious fungus that has decimated amphibian populations worldwide. Some scientists believe this fungus is growing more rapidly because of global warming.
Jeff Corwin on state of Amphibian Extinction and Conservation
Jeff Corwin on The Early Show speaks passionately about endangered amphibians and conservation in general. Also featued is a penguin, black leopard, and alligator.
Frogs of Glass
The Water Holding Frog of Australia
Frogs in the Bathroom
The Concave-eared Frog (Odorrana tormota)
This is a very unusual frog form central China that can select what it hears by switching frequencies. This frog is the only animal known to man to be able to do this. Not only can it select frequencies, but it can pinpoint the location of a sound with amazing precision. Being able to hear low frequencies, high frequencies, and ultrasonic sounds is especially beneficial when trying to locate other species of their own kind for procreation, single out prey, or escape preditors. These frogs are also able to produce ultrasonic sounds.
Blue Poison Dart Frog
The Poison Dart Frog, also called the Poison Arrow Frog (Dendrobatidae) family contain some of the most fascinating frogs in the animal kingdom. Native to Central and South America, these frogs are identified by their brilliant colors and complex patterns. All Poison Dart Frogs are toxic, but the toxicity varies form species to species.
Poison Dart Frogs are generally small, between 1-2.5 inches (1.5-6 centimeters), and are brightly colored as a warning to predators. Unlike most frogs, Poison Dart Frogs are more active during the day.
Most Poison Dart Frogs secrete toxins through their skin. They do not make their own toxins, but rather collects toxins from their prey, like ants, mites, and spiders, and then uses these toxins as the base for their own special formula. Because of this, captive Poison Dart Frogs are not as toxic as those in the wild. Poison Dart Frogs are often not poisonous enough to kill their predators, but taste so badly that they are spit out alive instead of devoured.
Scientists are studying the medicinal properties of of several frog species, including the Poison Dart Frog.
Poison dart frogs need warmth and humidity to survive, and are mostly found in the tropical rainforests. Like many frog and toad species, the Poison Dart Frog is also being negatively effected by deforestation. They are also dyeing from a the chytridaceous fungus, causing zoos to try to counter this threat with an anti-fungal agent. Scientists have no effective way to treat frogs in the wild. Luckily for the Poison Dart Frog, the chytridaceous fungus cannot survive above above 82 Â°F(28Â°C), and temperatures in the tropics commonly rise to this level and above, but other frog species with cooler habitats are being devastated by this fungus.
These beautiful frogs are native to the Central American rain forest, and are recognized by their brilliant red eyes, blue and yellow sides, orange toes, and green backs. The youngsters are more brown, and become bright green as they mature.
The red-eyed tree frog spend most of their lives in the trees, and are sometimes called monkey frogs. They eat insects, and have even been known to eat smaller frogs, but they are prey to birds, bats, snakes, large spiders and larger frogs. These frogs are not poisonous, and they resort to camouflage as a way to hide from their predators. Because they are so colorful, they have found a way to hide these colors by tucking their feet underneath them, using their legs to cover their sides, and closing their eyes. They then lie motionless, and sit amongst the green leaves, where they blend in.
Like many frogs in Central America, deforestation is having a profound effect on these frogs. While they are not as endangered as many other frogs in the area, there is the potential for extinction if the rain forests continue to be cut down.