Frogs are amphibians belonging to the order Anura. They live in warm and temperate regions around the world. Their long hind legs which enable them to jump great distances are their distinguishing characteristic. Some frogs can jump up to 20 times their own body length. They prefer to live in moist environments. Not only do frogs breath with their lungs, but they also have smooth and moist skin that allows them to absorb the oxygen content in the water. The frog’s large eyes enable it to perceive movement from different directions and are particularly sensitive to changes in the light. The ability to detect even the slightest movement means that frogs are always on alert status. As far as frogs are concerned, movement only means two things: danger or food.
Some tropical frogs are brightly colored and can defend themselves from predators by releasing a poison through their skin. The golden frog , for example, is considered one of the most poisonous animals in the world. Their long sticky tongues are used for hunting. With their tongues, frogs capture their prey, usually insects, in a fraction of a second. As the frog swallows its prey, it closes his eyes. To attract females ,each of the nearly 400 existing species uses a different mating call . The mating season begins in the spring when a frog’s mating call or “song” can be heard. Mating itself usually happens in June. During intercourse , the male mounts the female with his fore limbs , while its hind legs are used to fend off rivals. Females lay eggs in gelatinous masses, usually in water. To protect them from the fish, some species lay their eggs on plants, some carry them on their backs, while others swallow the egg mass until it reaches maturity.
The tadpoles that hatch from these eggs resemble small fish with large heads and a flattened tail . Tadpoles breathe with gills and mainly feed on algae. Since tadpoles are frequently a food source for many animals, few actually manage to reach adulthood.
During the period of metamorphosis, the process through which the tadpole turns into a frog , they grow lungs and limbs while their tails and gills retract . In many cultures, the frog is venerated and is perceived as a good omen for a coming rain or as a symbol of fertility , rebirth and regeneration. Frogs are also mentioned in the Bible: the second of the Ten Plagues of Egypt recounted in the book of Exodus, speaks of a major plague of frogs falling from the sky. The frog is also prized as a food source since its meat is rich in protein and low in fat.