People often get confused between frogs and toads, but toads are actually a type of frog meaning all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads. Toads have drier, bumpier skin which looks as if they have warts and prefer drier habitats than most frogs. In addition, they have shorter hind limbs and rounder bodies plus have poison glands in their skin to protect them from predators.
Frogs are amphibians and when they hibernate in the mud underwater they can breathe through their skin and absorb oxygen in the water during hibernation. Many frogs swim around in the water during the winter months to maintain proper oxygen levels. Some frogs can stop their heart and breathing completely during hibernation and still survive. They have a high level of glucose in their bloodstream that acts like antifreeze and protects their organs. Once the winter ends and they wake up, heart and breathing resume normally.
Frogs have an inner ear and eardrums but do not have external ears. The ear of a frog is called a tympanum and is found behind the frog's eye shaped like a circle. The size of the tympanum varies depending on the type of frog and is related to the frequency and wavelength of the species male call. The eardrum is also connected to the lungs, and the lungs vibrate when there is a sound. It allows frogs to make loud sounds without hurting their sensitive eardrums. This helps frogs determine where other sounds are coming from as well.
The frogs' drinking and swallowing methods are quite unique too. They absorb water through their skin in an area known as the drinking patch which is located on their belly and underside of their thighs. They use their eyeballs to swallow and eat their prey whole as their eyeballs sink down into their mouths and push the food down into their throat.
Male frogs and female frogs are often hard to tell apart because the sex organs for both are internal. In many of the species though, the female is larger than the male, but the male may have larger toe pads which are used to grab the female during mating. Male frogs also call to the female frog to attract them and defend their territory. In addition, the throats of many male frogs are darker than the females. Some of the species, like bullfrogs, it is easier to determine their sex. The males are larger, and they have a larger tympanum.
Most frogs lay their eggs in water because their eggs do not have a shell and need moisture to keep them from drying out until they hatch. There are some frogs that lay their eggs under leaves in above water in damp rainforests, and others carry their eggs on their back. One frog, the male Darwin frog, swallows the eggs and keeps them in his vocal sac until they hatch.
Many frogs also change color to help hide them from predators by matching the colors of their surroundings. They can change color to help control body temperature because some colors absorb more light or less light and can cool or warm the frog's body. Most frogs cannot completely change their color but only to a lighter or darker shade of their basic color.
Frogs are covered with a mucous coating which makes them slimy and helps them breathe through their skin. The mucous includes other chemicals to help protect the frog, and some frogs secrete a waxy coating helping them maintain moisture in areas of high temperatures.
Frogs have big eyes that stick out of their head, so they can see behind them and to the sides without having to turn their heads around. The eyes can almost give them a 360-degree view of their surroundings which helps them see potential predators to either escape from it or catch it for food. They also have a third eyelid that covers their eyes, so they can keep them open underwater. It is called the nictitating membrane which helps keeps the eyes moist when they are not in water.
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