Portal:Frogs

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The Frogs Portal

Various types of frogs.

A frog is any member of a diverse and largely carnivorous group of short-bodied, tailless amphibians composing the order Anura (literally without tail in Ancient Greek). The oldest fossil "proto-frog" appeared in the early Triassic of Madagascar, but molecular clock dating suggests their origins may extend further back to the Permian, 265 million years ago. Frogs are widely distributed, ranging from the tropics to subarctic regions, but the greatest concentration of species diversity is in tropical rainforest. There are about 7,300 recorded species, which account for around 88% of extant amphibian species. They are also one of the five most diverse vertebrate orders. Warty frog species tend to be called toads, but the distinction between frogs and toads is informal, not from taxonomy or evolutionary history.

An adult frog has a stout body, protruding eyes, anteriorly-attached tongue, limbs folded underneath, and no tail (the tail of tailed frogs is an extension of the male cloaca). Frogs have glandular skin, with secretions ranging from distasteful to toxic. Their skin varies in colour from well- camouflaged dappled brown, grey and green to vivid patterns of bright red or yellow and black to show toxicity and ward off predators. Adult frogs live in fresh water and on dry land; some species are adapted for living underground or in trees.

Frogs typically lay their eggs in water. The eggs hatch into aquatic larvae called tadpoles that have tails and internal gills. They have highly specialized rasping mouth parts suitable for herbivorous, omnivorous or planktivorous diets. The life cycle is completed when they metamorphose into adults. A few species deposit eggs on land or bypass the tadpole stage. Adult frogs generally have a carnivorous diet consisting of small invertebrates, but omnivorous species exist and a few feed on plant matter. Frog skin has a rich microbiome which is important to their health. Frogs are extremely efficient at converting what they eat into body mass. They are an important food source for predators and part of the food web dynamics of many of the world's ecosystems. The skin is semi-permeable, making them susceptible to dehydration, so they either live in moist places or have special adaptations to deal with dry habitats. Frogs produce a wide range of vocalizations, particularly in their breeding season, and exhibit many different kinds of complex behaviors to attract mates, to fend off predators and to generally survive. ( Full article...)

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Rana boylii.jpg
The foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii) is a small-sized 3.72–8.2 cm (1.46–3.23 in) frog from the genus Rana in the family Ranidae. This species can be found in the Coast Ranges from northern Oregon, through California, and into Baja California, Mexico as well as in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Range in California. The foothill yellow-legged frog is a Federal Species of Concern and California State Endangered. ( Full article...)
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Photograph of the Italian tree frog Hyla intermedia. Its natural habitats are the temperate forests, rivers, and freshwater marshes of countries like Italy, Slovenia, and Switzerland. It feeds on small invertebrates such as flies, mosquitoes and midges. In the breeding season, dominant males establish territories near a pond or other body of water and advertise themselves by calling. Other male frogs, known as "satellites" may lurk nearby and try to intercept females attracted by the territorial males' calls.
Photo credit: Benny Trapp

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An Iberian frog

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Featured frog and toad-related articles - Australian green tree frog - Cane toad - Common toad - Frog - Green and golden bell frog
Good frog and toad-related articles - American bullfrog - Boiling frog - Ecnomiohyla rabborum - Poison dart frog

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