Can Frogs Drown? Deep Diving Into Their Spectacular Swimming Skills | Kidadl


Can Frogs Drown? Deep Diving Into Their Spectacular Swimming Skills

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Frogs have protruding eyes, webbed hind feet, and no tail.

Being predominantly aquatic animals, hind feet of frogs are adapted for leaping and swimming. The frog belongs to the order Anura as they are tailless amphibians.

Frogs swim near ponds, swamps, or damp places. They have no tails. Frogs do have lungs for respiration. Some frogs happen to have poisonous skin glands. These skin glands protect frogs from predators. They live a life of 8-10 years. The frog's respiration process takes place through the skin. Frogs need to keep their skin moist to breathe through their skin. They won't be able to absorb oxygen if their skin dries.  Although both fish and frogs have gills, they do not breathe in the same way. The gills of frogs don't stick around forever as tadpoles start to develop lungs after four weeks. Their gills disappear after tadpoles turn into adult frogs. Instead of drinking water, they soak moisture through their skin into their bodies. Although frogs breathe underwater, they lay eggs on the surface in large amounts. Frogs are exotic creatures and relatively easy to keep as a pet. Humans tend to form a good bond as well as great companionship with frogs.

After reading about the respiration process responsible for a frog's breath, do about can frogs breathe underwater and why frogs scream.

Unusual Frog Mortality

Extreme cases of amphibian mortality cannot be explained satisfactorily. Unfortunately, near garden ponds, there has been an increase in unusual deaths of frogs and toads. Typically, a common toad lives for 10-12 years. Among all other frogs, the Goliath frog can have a lifespan of 15 years in the wild. Frogs are considered an integral part of Australian ecosystems. They are an important factor in the food web. Even though frogs are small and unseen, healthy frogs give a good indication of a healthy environment.

Compounding threats like climate change, habitat loss and modification, invasive animals and plants, and diseases have impacted the frog's population. Out of 242 frog species in Australia, 35 species are threatened with extinction. It is always rare to see a dead frog as frogs are secretive. So even if they die, they decompose in the soil. It is surprising to know growing rates of death among frogs. This outbreak has a huge impact on other animals at a greater range. Some frog species have seemed to develop fungus on their bodies. The fungus named chytrid tends to take over bodies of frogs in winter because of the temperature. The Australian Registry of Wildlife Health is taking action to investigate so that frogs can survive longer.

Can frogs live completely underwater?

Frogs spend most of their time around and in water sources like a pond or a swamp. Unlike full-grown adult frogs or toads, tadpoles, also known as frogspawn, require more sources of water until they mature in order to survive. But can frogs breathe underwater? Can frogs drown underwater? Yes, the answer is frogs can breathe underwater. Amphibians have respiratory abilities which enable them to breathe underwater for specific periods. Different methods for retaining or absorbing oxygen are used by these amphibians. These methods enable amphibians to absorb oxygen for breathing in water when submerged. One thing which is common among all amphibians is that they all breathe through their skin.

Typically, frogs can stay underwater as they absorb oxygen through their skin.

Frogs can not live completely underwater. The time they can stay underwater varies depending on activities they perform underwater and their species. The results vary for different species of frogs. It is more difficult for adult frogs or toads to absorb gases underwater as they have thicker skin membranes compared to other toads. Aquatic frogs absorb and expel oxygen and carbon dioxide easily as they have a thinner membrane. Tadpoles can breathe underwater without any issue. Amphibians like frogs breathe underwater through their skin and not with lungs. Other species like salamanders need surface oxygen levels to breathe and survive. Salamanders are terrain-based as they neither have gills nor lungs. Creatures like salamanders rely solely on oxygen which helps them breathe through their skin.

How long can frogs stay underwater?

Typically, frogs can hold their breath completely anywhere for four to seven hours! Frogs do use their lungs for the breathing process. Frogs become aquatic during the spring season. They tend to spend more time on land when the breeding season is done. Frogs can be spotted in puddles, in ponds, in canals, in meadows, in lakes, and in woodlands. Frogs can happily spend numerous months underwater as they breathe through their skin. They lay eggs near still or shallow water. Even beneath heaps of mud and leaves, frogs can easily breathe underwater. They don't have tails.

When tadpoles reach their juvenile stage, that is, they turn into a frog, they develop gills and can breathe and live completely underwater like a fish. Even after developing gills that help tadpoles breathe air, frogs can continue to breathe above the surface as well. To keep their temperature from freezing, frogs tend to emerge when it rains or during the period when the snow melts into puddles. When they are on the surface, just like humans, frogs can breathe by taking air in through their nostrils and down to their lungs. It is proven that frogs with thin-skinned membranes can live longer in water compared to thick-skinned cousins.

How do frogs swallow?

Animals don't necessarily need to chew in order to eat food. Animals that chew food do it to break down food particles and make it easier to swallow and digest. The majority of animals have teeth specialized exclusively for tearing and shredding food. In most cases, these animals start the digestion of food in the stomach and not in the mouth.

read if frogs can live completely underwater

Of all aquatic animals, frogs use their eyeballs to swallow food. Their bodies are uniquely designed for food processing. It is very common for other animals to swallow their prey with the help of their tongue or teeth. However, frogs don't have teeth. Even if they did, frogs would use teeth to anchor their prey instead of chewing food. One of the most noticeable features of a frog is that they have fairly large eyes. To swallow their prey, which a frog catches using the tongue, it cannot keep its eyes open while eating. Frogs blink their eyes which causes their eyes to sink into their skull while swallowing a large amount of food. To push the food into its throat some amount of pressure is put on the top of the frog's mouth.

Do frogs drown in water?

There has been a recent surge in the number of frog deaths. Frogs and toads have been found dead in large numbers, typically hundreds of frogs have been found dead in ponds. Many things can kill a frog, such as a disease, an increased number of natural predators in frogs, pesticides, or even toxicity of the water. There is evidence that these frog deaths occur due to a completely different reason.

Frogs play a vital role in the environment and are natural pest eaters. They also play an important role in the food chain and are prey to many snakes and other animals.

Even though frogs have the special ability to breathe underwater through their skin, they can’t stay submerged underwater forever and under unfavorable conditions, frogs drown underwater because they are unable to breathe properly. Many factors determine the frog’s ability to breathe underwater.

If the oxygen level in the water is lower than the required percentage that a frog needs to be able to breathe underwater, the frog might not be able to absorb enough oxygen underwater to provide the energy requirement needed for swimming. If the frog is not able to swim out of the surface of the water because of lack of oxygen or is unable to climb the steep surface of the edge of the pond, the frog can drown due to suffocation.

Another factor is the temperature of the water. Because they are cold-blooded, frogs prefer to swim in colder waters as cold water can hold more oxygen than warm water. Warm water increases their metabolic rates which makes them require more oxygen, whereas cold water slows down their metabolism allowing them to use oxygen more efficiently.

Aquatic frogs can also drown while hibernating. Frogs hibernate in oxygen-rich waters in winter instead of burying themselves in the mud like terrestrial species.

Do frogs need to breathe air?

Yes. Although frogs have moist skin that allows them to absorb oxygen underwater, they need to breathe air when they are on land. Frogs are amphibians, which means that they can breathe on land and underwater.

Underwater, they can directly absorb oxygen thanks to a mucous coating on their skin which keeps it moist and allows them to diffuse oxygen and carbon dioxide through the process of osmosis underwater. When on land, adult frogs have a set of lungs that allows them to breathe in air to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide like how humans breathe. Frogs need to breathe air on land to perform biological functions and stay alive.

However, these factors do not apply to all frogs. Frogs in their juvenile form as tadpoles live entirely underwater and have a set of gills to breathe underwater. They do not have lungs like adult frogs do. When tadpoles reach a later stage in life, they undergo a metamorphosis which drastically changes their body shape. They grow a pair of lungs and hind legs to move on land and their tail is reabsorbed into their body. Metamorphosis is usually observed in insects like butterflies and beetles. The Sri Lankan rock frogs in their tadpole form live on the land and are terrestrial.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for can frogs drown then take a look at are tree frogs poisonous or poison dart frog facts.

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