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Frog Gifts

Frogs are amphibians in the order Anura, formerly referred to as Salientia. Most frogs are characterized by long hind legs, a short body, webbed digits (fingers or toes), protruding eyes and the absence of a tail. Frogs are widely known as exceptional jumpers, and many of the anatomical characteristics of frogs, particularly their long, powerful legs, are adaptations to improve jumping performance. Due to their permeable skin, frogs are often semi-aquatic or inhabit humid areas, but move easily on land. They typically lay their eggs in puddles, ponds or lakes, and their larvae, called tadpoles, have gills and develop in water. Adult frogs follow a carnivorous diet, mostly of arthropods, annelids and gastropods. Frogs are most noticeable by their call, which can be widely heard during the night or day, mainly in their mating season.

Frog Facts

Frogs are amphibians belonging to the taxonomic order anura, a term derived from Greek words that together mean "without tail." Most frogs are characterized by a short body, webbed digits, protruding eyes, and the absence of a tail. Frogs are widely known as exceptional jumpers, and many of the adaptations that are characteristic of frogs, particularly their long, powerful legs, serve to improve jumping performance.

The average frog measures between 2.5 and 4 inches in length and weighs around 23 grams, or 0.05 lb. The largest extant frog is Africa's Goliath frog, which can measure up to 13 inches long and weigh over 7 lb. The smallest extant frog is Papua New Guinea's Paedophryne amauensis, which measures 0.3 inches long and is the world's smallest known vertebrate, or animal with a backbone.

Frogs can be found on all continents except for Antarctica, but do not occupy some islands, particularly those that are not close to large landmasses. Though frogs have semi-permeable skin that makes them susceptible to dehydration, those living in drier habitats have adaptations that allow for their survival; frogs therefore occupy many different types of ecosystems in several biomes, in which they tend to serve as important parts of their respective food chains.

Frogs are largely carnivorous, and capture insects and other small animals using their long, sticky tongues; frogs rapidly flick their tongues at their prey, then quickly retract their tongues, to which the prey has stuck, into their mouths. To combat predation, many species of frogs secrete substances that make the frog slippery to the touch and therefore hard to capture; mild toxins that taste unpleasant; and poisons that can severely damage predators. Frogs may also have colorations that allow them to camouflage with their environments or that disguise them as poisonous frogs.

Because frogs are amphibians, they are ectothermic, or "cold-blooded." Frogs' body temperatures therefore vary based on their environments. Frogs often regulate their body temperatures by moving into or out of sunlight or exposing minimal or maximum amounts of their bodies' surface areas to the air. Frogs' colourations also vary based on sun exposure to prevent them from overheating; one species, the normally grey southern foam-nest tree frog, can even turn white under the appropriate conditions to prevent overheating.

Frogs can be considered culturally significant, appearing in several fairy tales, literature, and other media from varying cultures. One of the most famous fictional frogs is the one who befriends a princess and ultimately turns into a handsome prince in the classic fairy tale. Kermit the Frog of The Muppet Show and Sesame Street is another famous and culturally relevant fictional frog. Frogs are particularly important in Panama's culture; Panamanian golden frogs are part of local legends, and the frogs appear throughout the country on commodities such as T-shirts and lottery tickets, and on an overpass in Panama City, the country's capital.

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Frog Gifts

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