Frog Skin: Amazing Facts We Bet You Didn't Know | Kidadl


Frog Skin: Amazing Facts We Bet You Didn't Know

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Amphibians are very interesting creatures that, although found almost everywhere on Earth, are still the most diverse tropical creatures.

There are almost 5000 species of frogs to be found all over the globe, and it is fascinating to learn amazing new facts about them! Like all other animals, frogs too are essential to the ecosystem and play an important role in maintaining its balance.

Frogs and toads begin their lives as eggs floating on water bodies. They develop into tadpoles that swim around in the water until their tails gradually begin to vanish and they grow into adults. Most frogs come up with very interesting ways to keep their eggs wet without laying them directly into the water. The male Darwin frog swallows its eggs and protects them in his vocal sac until they hatch. Tree frogs in Asia build a nest above the water and lay their eggs there so that when the tadpoles hatch, they can fall directly into the water and develop into froglets. Some frogs also carry their eggs on their backs until they are ready to hatch and hop into the water!

More than often, frogs are confused with toads. Toads are regarded as a type of frog, but, of course, not all frogs are toads. The easiest difference to spot with naked eyes is that aquatic frogs have smooth skin with long and strong webbed hind feet for walking and swimming, whereas toads have rough, dry, warty skin with shorter hind legs for walking and climbing. Tree frogs, in particular, have rounded toe pads that help them cling onto branches and other smooth surfaces. Frogs may be aquatic or semi-aquatic and are always found to live near water bodies to keep their skin moist and maintain their hydration levels. A toad, on the other hand, tends to thrive in drier habitats.

Female frogs are mostly silent. It is the male frogs that croak in an attempt to attract the females for mating. Frogs do not have external ears, however, they are blessed with eardrums and an inner ear, which is called 'tympanum'. In Bullfrogs, the males have a larger tympanum, which is located right behind the eye, but in females, it is smaller and easily recognizable.

While their bulging eyes and deep croak might be creepy, a frog with large eyes can be cute and is a fascinating creature to learn about.

Did you like this article? Then check out more fun fact articles like frog breathing and how do gills work!

What is the skin of a frog called?

Frogs have a 'lycra' type of skin that loosely hangs over their bodies because of the lack of connective tissue in their bodies.

The 'lycra' protects them from predators, injury, and diseases. Their glandular skin has a range of colors depending on the type of frog species and can secrete toxins and poisons that, besides repelling predators, can also be used as pain medication in many cases.

If we talk about frog skin layers, then they are divided into two: epidermal and dermal layers.

What does a frog's skin feel like?

A frog's skin does not have scales, fur, or feathers. The frog skin texture is usually smooth and feels slimy.

Many frogs have slimy skin because their skins are coated with a waxy layer of mucous secretions that keeps their amphibian skin moist and help them breathe. The mucous often contains antifungal or antibacterial properties and is used as a shield against any skin infections or frog skin disease.

A group of frogs is called an army.

What is special about frog skin?

Frogs use their skin as a respiratory tool besides their lungs. Frogs don't drink water. Their skins have a tendency to lose moisture very quickly, so they have permeable skin that allows them to absorb water and oxygen from their surrounding environment. This frog skin function is why people can hurt frogs by touching them with their bare hands since they can absorb the salt on our fingers. Frogs do eat. They eat all kinds of insects.

Many species of frogs have a wonderfully wide range of skin colors and pattern variations. They can change their skin colors by using pigment cells called chromatophores to protect themselves against imminent dangers and predators. Other frogs with patterned skin types camouflage very well in their surroundings, which aids them in saving themselves from life-threatening situations. Some frogs can change to lighter or darker shades of their basic body color as a means of trapping more heat when they are in places of high or low temperatures or are more active during the day or night. This also helps them regulate their body temperature, besides water and other body secretions.

The skin of frogs is also a great defense against disease-causing microbes and pathogens present in the environment. It is capable of killing viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Scientists have attempted to utilize these germ-fighting chemicals to develop them into antibiotics and painkillers, but since these chemicals tend to be toxic to human cells, the success rate has been slow.

Frogs shed skin periodically, and it usually begins with the frog becoming restless and losing its appetite. There is a lot of stretching, bending, and twisting to loosen the skin that splits down the middle of the back and across the belly. After this, the frog pulls its skin over its head, pushes it into its mouth, and eats it. This is one of the best ways to preserve and recycle all the nutrition and protein found in their skin and to re-use all the components used to form their skin. Certain frogs also hold onto their sloughed skin to retain it as an underwater cocoon for themselves.

Why do frogs need wet skin?

It is crucial for frogs to have moist skin because if oxygen can't pass through the skin cells, the frog suffocates, drowns, and dies.

To prevent this from happening, frogs also have granular glands on their bodies that produce mucous skin secretions that help keep their skin moist. In certain species, these mucous glands are modified to secrete toxins poisonous to predators and are designed to help protect the frog species.

They also have a 'drinking patch' under their bellies and thighs that helps them absorb water through capillary actions and maintain the moisture levels of their bodies. Although they have lungs, they rely on the absorbed extra oxygen, especially when they are underwater. This is also another reason why most frogs are found near water sources. Frogs and toads can also maintain their levels of moisture by relying on dew, burrowing themselves in moist soil or in the mud underwater. The spadefoot toads have hard, claw-like growths on their back legs that help them dig. Unlike most animals, they dig a backward spiral and slowly disappear into the soil.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for frog skin then why not take a look at frog head, or poison dart frog facts.

Rajnandini is an art lover and enthusiastically likes to spread her knowledge. With a Master of Arts in English, she has worked as a private tutor and, in the past few years, has moved into content writing for companies such as Writer's Zone. Trilingual Rajnandini has also published work in a supplement for 'The Telegraph', and had her poetry shortlisted in Poems4Peace, an international project. Outside work, her interests include music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading. She is fond of classic British literature.

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