Types Of Frogs
A Guide to the Various Types of Frogs
If you have ever seen these amphibians out and about, you have probably wondered how many types of frogs there are. It seems like a different variety appears every time we see one in the wild, or on television or in the movies. We also seem to always confuse them with toads – since they look and act extremely similar. For any of those who have been interested in frogs – and not just the fairy tale variety – this article will provide a synopsis of types of frogs in nature and possibly in your own home.
Before we talk about types of frogs, let us first explain frogs and toads. Believe it or not, toads and frogs are essentially the same creature, scientifically speaking. Both are members of the order Anura, from the amphibian family. This just means that they are amphibians who do not have tails. Frogs and toads share the same general body type and style, eat many of the same foods, live in similar environments, and even act and behave the same way. We have generalized them somewhat, though; to most people, toads live in forests and grasslands and tend to have dry, bumpy skin, while frogs are leaner, have moist skin, and live in more tropical environments and close to water. But, as mentioned above, scientifically they are the same.
Frogs constitute one of the more diverse species out there in the wild. In the United States alone, there are over 90 species of frogs. Worldwide, there are over 5,000 separate and distinct types of frogs that inhabit a wide and diverse range of environments, from the Amazon rainforests to the deciduous forests of the southeastern United States to the plains of Africa. Up to 30% of the species out there are endangered, owing mostly to pollution and encroachment on their natural habitats by humans, and this number is due to increase unless serious conservation efforts are made.
Generally speaking, biologists classify the types of frogs into three broad families: Archaeobactrachia, mesobactrachia, and neobatrachia. This last family contains the majority of frogs. The most common type of frog out there is the green tree frog. These little creatures live in trees, have green skin, and grow to be about three to four inches in length. They are very similar in appearance to the bullfrog, which is another popular and widely recognized type of frog. Bullfrogs tend to be larger, growing up to eight inches in length, and are recognized easily by their distinctive, low-throated croak. When people mention frogs, they typically are referring to one of these two types.
Outside of the United States, there are several other types that range from the plain and mundane to the exotic. You can find cousins of the American varieties out there on other continents that look and act like their counterparts, just like you can find species that are more “out there”. One such examine is the poison dart frog. This small, brightly-colored frog lives in Central and South America and is known for the toxin it carries inside its body and on its skin. They got their name because Indians used to dip their arrows or darts into the toxin on these animals – and use these poison darts to hunt. Another interesting creature is the cane toad. Introduced in Australia to combat beetles that feed on sugar cane, the cane toad has since become a nuisance there and in other places because of its high rate of breeding and its tendency to infest agricultural areas.
There are many other types and variants of this animal out there that have not been mentioned in this article. If you are interested in finding out more, then consult an amphibian specialist at your local zoo. Frogs are interesting creatures and can even make good pets – just make sure you stay away from the poison ones!