- Frogs require a damp environment to protect their skin from drying out which could result in dehydration. Cold-blooded, the frog does not have the ability to manage its body temperature and must depend on external environmental forces to keep it warm. During the winter months, some frogs burrow into the soil for warmth. The blood of wood frogs contains high levels of glucose which clots in their vital organs when the temperatures in the Arctic drop. The frog enters a state of dormancy in the freezing weather; its body freezes solid and its blood begins to congeal around its organs. In the spring, the frog breaks dormancy as its body begins to thaw.
- Amazingly agile, the frog has the capability of jumping up to 20 times its body length. The toes of the tree frog are equipped with suction pads that help them climb trees with ease. Aquatic frogs have webbed feet. The Costa Rican tree frog's feet have webbing and suction cups. When the frog leaps from tree to tree, it spreads out its toes, so the webbing works like a parachute. Frogs that reside in the mud have horn-like protrusions on their feet that help to dig through the soil. During the frog's life, it will go through a complete metamorphosis. It will emerge from an egg as a tadpole. The tadpole resides in the water while it grows legs and its tail disappears. Once the tadpole has functional legs it becomes a true frog. Most frog species take several weeks to transform.
- The permeable skin of the frog makes it a good bio-indicator of the surrounding environment, according to the Hamline University Center For Global Environmental Education. The frog readily absorbs toxins through its skin and depends on its skin to absorb the water it needs for survival. Toxins can accumulate quickly in the frog's muscle and fat tissue. Frogs also breathe through their skin and if the skin does not remain moist the frog can suffocate. Once a week, the frog sheds its entire skin. Frogs come in a wide array of colors to fit their environment. A few frogs have the ability to change their skin color to blend into their surroundings. Brilliantly colored frogs such as the dart frog secrete highly toxic poisons.
Mating and Brooding Rituals
- Male frogs croak during the cover of darkness as a form of courtship. After the singing, the male frog will mount the female frog. She will lay her eggs into the water while the male frog releases sperm to ensure their fertilization. The female frog will lay hundreds or thousands of eggs depending upon the species. The jelly-like eggs hatch in approximately three to 25 days. The Surinam toad keeps her eggs in a pouch until they hatch and the gastric brooding frog swallows her eggs. The eggs stay inside her stomach until they hatch and then the baby frogs emerge out her mouth. Frogs often live from 10 to 20 years, according the Exploratorium.