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findthefrog

Answer to find the frog

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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.

paratoid

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.
fowlerstoad

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.

northern_green_frog_-_tewksbury_nj

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

rainbowfrog

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).

 

 

 

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.

dancingfrog1

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.

indian-bullfrog

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).

moorfrog

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.

IMG_7969

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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.

The Importance of Zoos

People in today’s society often complain about zoos. People complain about how animals are used to raise money and how they aren’t truly wild anymore. While I understand their position, I think they are misunderstanding the important work zoos do.

Zoos are important to conservation. The money that zoos raises go obviously towards the animals at the zoo and the works but they also go towards conservation projects. These conservation projects help endangered species such as the Houston Toad. The Houston Zoo helps breed and head start captive Houston Toad which are endangered in the USA.

houstontoad

Zoos also provide refuge to animal species that have had their habitat destroyed or face other problems. The Panamanian Golden Frog is probably extinct in the wild because of chytrid fungus but populations of them have been living in zoos such as the Maryland Zoo.

panamaniangoldenfrog

If you are worried about the care and health of the animals in a zoo, check to see if they are an AZA accredited zoo. AZA stands for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. To become an AZA accredited zoo, the zoos have to be inspected to see if they match the AZA’s high standards for animal care. Also try to look for non-profit zoos vs for profit zoos.

Overall, zoos are a critical part of the fight to save animals species. Donate and visit zoos that support conservation!