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Do Toads and Frogs Cause Warts?

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My mom always warned me that holding frogs and toads so spread warts on my hands and I’m sure you heard it before too.  Good news, its not true. You can pick up other diseases from holding frogs and toads but not warts. Remember to always wash your hands after handling animals. Now what does cause warts? A type of Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes warts. So go hold all the frogs you want.

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Female Frogs Wooing Males with Songs for the First Time

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For most of the frogs and toads in the world, during breeding season, the male frog calls out to the female frogs to attract them. For some species, the female frog sometimes call back. For the first time, researchers have found a species of frog where the female calls out to attract the male frogs. Johana Goyes Vallejos, a Ph.D. candidate from UConn, and colleagues found that the female Smooth Guardian Frogs (Limnonectes palavanensis) often group around a male frog and sing to it.  The male frogs occasionally call back to let them know that they are single and ready to mingle. Besides just calling, the female frogs also abandon their eggs after breeding and let the males take care of them. The sex roles of this species of frogs are reversed from the normal roles. Some may say these frogs are progressive.

Image By Indraneil Das – Das, I. (2006). Crocker Range National Park, Sabah, as a refuge for Borneo’s montane herpetofauna. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 4 (1): 3–11, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47210176
Paper found here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00265-017-2323-3
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Millennials are ruining frogs

Millennials are the blame for most things that are going wrong in the world such as sitcoms, golf , and running. While the greatest generation has almost all died off, we are stuck with possibly the worst generation. Millennials are so terrible, they are also ruining frogs.

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Typical Loser Millennial

Millennials love renewable energy such as wind or solar power but you know who doesn’t? Frogs. Frogs just love splashing around in their ponds filled with oil. Frogs breathe through their skin so nothing makes it easier for them to breath than being covered in oil. Frogs also don’t believe in climate change either.

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Frog enjoying some oil

More millennials are going to vegetarian or vegan diets than any other generation before. Frogs enjoy other farm animals as friends. If we all stop eating meat, we will have to lower the amount of farm animals. Frogs will lose their friends and sad frogs are depressing. Also it reduces animal waste runoff that frogs love in their streams. MMMm manure.

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Real pic of a frog and cow being friends

Millennials have turned frogs into hate symbols. Pepe the Frog used to be an innocent little frog until Millennials came along and turned him into a symbol of hate and Nazism.

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Pepe before Millennials

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Pepe after Millennials
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Giant Frog from Texas

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This image has been circling the internet of a man supposedly with a 13 pound frog but is it real? No. American Bullfrogs don’t even reach a foot long and weight only a pound and a half tops. The dude is holding the frog out far so it appears bigger in the picture. It’s still probably a large frog but not close to 13 pounds. The Goliath Frog is the largest frog in the world and it only grows to slightly over a foot and weights up to 7 pounds.

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Gastric Brooding Frog

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Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6163355

The Gastric Brooding Frog (Rheobatrachus) were frogs native to eastern Australia but sadly they went extinct in 1980s. What made them interesting is the fact that the female frogs actually swallowed their eggs and incubated them in their stomach. The two species of Gastric Brooding Frogs are the only known species of frogs that can do this.

Humans are responsibly for the lose of the gastric brooding frog. Invasive plants, animals, and diseases helped cause the gastric brooding frog to go extinct.

Scientists are trying to bring this species back from the dead.

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Help with Frog or Toad

This is to help people with frog or toad. Most of these ways to distinguish the two work well but there are still some toads that look like frogs and vice versa.

Tips that work

One of the best ways to tell if its a frog or a toad is to look for a parotoid gland. Its usually behind the head.

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I circled it on the Cane toad. This gland produces the toxins in the toads. It is only on toads.

Next way is to check for warts. Toads usually have warty skin or bumpy skin while frogs are usually smooth.
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The skin of this toad is really dry while there are bumps all over it. There are giant warts on its back. You can also see the parotoid gland easily.

Tips that don’t work so great but can help a bit

Another way is to look at how long the legs are on the amphibian you are looking at. Frogs generally have longer upper legs to help jump farther.

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The upper leg on this Green frog is a lot longer than any of the toads before it.

Toads typically have more compact body size compared to frogs but that’s not always the case.

Frogs usually have more bright colors than toads.

So here’s a frog or toad example

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So it has bright colors and a compact body, these signs both point at it being a frog or a toad.  So now I look at the skin and I don’t see warts and just a few bumps. I’m leaning more towards frog. I look for the parotoid gland and I don’t see one. I’m still leaning frog. The upper legs don’t look too long so that doesn’t help. Overall, I would say frog and I would be right. It is the Malagasy Rainbow Frog (Scaphiophryne gottlebei).

 

 

 

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Getting the Girl – Frog Style

Spring time is here and that means that male frogs are coming out to try to find a mate. There are many ways that frogs try to attract the females and I will explain them.

Coqui

The most common way frogs and toad attract mates is with breeding calls. Breeding calls are the best way to attract mates because sound travels farther than any other cues. The  Common Coqui frog’s (Eleutherodactylus coqui) call is hundred decibels from three feet away which makes it the loudest amphibian and also as loud as a lawn mower. Males can either call by themselves or group together to form a group to make calls in ponds or lakes. The males with the deepest croaks and best territories usually get the best females to mate with.

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Male frogs from the family Micrixalidae are known as the dancing frogs because of the weird foot movements they used to attract mates. This behavior is called “foot flagging”. It’s more of a dance that twerking.

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Another way males attract the females is having bright colors. The male Indian Bull frogs (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus) change their skin color during the mating season to impress the girls (pictured above).

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The Moor frog (Rana arvalis) is an example of another frog that changes colors for males. Other frogs just keep their color difference all year round. Bull Frogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) and Green Frogs (Lithobates clamitans) have a a nice yellow throat. It is pictured below.

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Last way males try to attract females is fighting. Males fight it out and the winner proves they are the best mate for the females. Those are African Bullfrogs (Pyxicephalus adspersus) fighting above.

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Different Lifestyles of Frogs and Toads

Frogs and toads have a variety of different lifestyles. Most people think frogs just live near the water but there is more than that.

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Aquatic

There are many frogs that spend most of their lives in the water. The family Pipidae contains many fully aquatic species of frogs and toads. The Surinam Toad, pictured above,  eats, sleeps, and mates in the water. They come to the surface of the water to breathe in some air every hour and they come onto land when their habitat starts to dry up. My frogs, Sven and Olaf are full aquatic.

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Semi Aquatic

The most perceived lifestyle of frogs is the semi aquatic one. These frogs spend life both on land and in water. They usually hang out close to the water or on the surface of shallow bodies of water.

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Terrestrial

Most toads are terrestrial. They live primary on land and only go in the water to breed mostly. There are terrestrial frogs such as the Surniame Horned Frog.

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Arboreal

Frogs that live in trees are arboreal. Some of these species never leave the trees while others come down to the ground to breed and hibernate. Some frogs lay their eggs on leaves and when they grow into tadpoles, they drop into a water body below.

Purple Frog

Fossorial

There are species of frogs and toads that live most of their lives underground. Some of these species only come up to the surface to breed like the Purple frog above.