Frog Swimming Mechanism Explained: Fun Facts For Kids | Kidadl

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Frog Swimming Mechanism Explained: Fun Facts For Kids

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Let's be honest, it's always hard to imagine amphibians swimming but as most of us have seen, frogs are quite adept at it.

Frogs and toads are slimy creatures that can survive on the land as well as in water. Hence, it's always interesting to research the development of these groups of animals.

Apart from the mucus-covered skin of these animals, one thing that you must have noticed are their strong and long feet. Along with being the perfect tool for getting around its muddy environment, their strong feet help frogs get around the aquatic habitat. You may have also seen a frog in the middle of a pool swimming with its eyes and nose up. And, if you're interested in biology, and have ever wondered, how these creatures manage to swim, then keep on reading to know all the facts.

If you like this article, why not find out more about frog head and frog skin?

Can a frog swim underwater?

Yes, as you may have guessed, most frogs and toads do have the ability to swim underwater. Moreover, even though frogs have lungs, the skin of frogs is designed to breathe oxygen when it's underwater.

It's commonplace to see the frogs swimming through a water body, and often to do that, it needs to go underwater. However, we don't have much idea about how long a frog can hold its body underwater. It's believed that some frogs can stay under the surface of the water for around 4-7 hours. In fact, the skin of a frog is such that it can take in oxygen even in situations when the mud or water lacks enough quantities of it.

What kind of frogs can't swim?

Unlike aquatic frogs, tree frogs of most species don't possess the slender hind legs that are needed to propel them for swimming. Having said that, if left in the water or if there is a need for it, even the tree frogs will try to swim and would most likely survive.

This is also the reason why many frog species and toads prefer not to lay eggs in the water. These animals can make a nest above the water or in trees. One example is the tadpoles of the greenhouse frog, which is native to Cuba, that doesn't go through the aquatic stage.

Frog swimming underwater facts help to learn about movements.

How do frogs swim?

To understand how a frog swims in the simplest way, you need to imagine the breaststroke we use a swimming pool. The frog uses its slender hind legs to push its body forward while being in the water.

If you have noticed, a frog has stronger hind legs compared to the forelimbs. Apart from jumping, the hind legs also help the frogs and toads to gain momentum while moving forward in the water. We humans may have learned about breaststroke after observing the frogs. Moreover, you may have noticed, animals like toads and frogs have large eyes on their head to help in seeing underwater.

Frogs Swimming Mechanism Explained

One of the most interesting things in the animal world has to be the frog swimming style. Along with having strong hind limbs and webbed feet, a frog or toad also has a somewhat flat streamlined body that lets it easily force through water.

If you have a close look at the bodies of a frog or a toad, you'll surely notice the long hind legs with relatively long toes compared to the front legs. The frogs also have strong knees, and all these features together help the frog have a smooth swim. In the movement, you can take the first position of a frog to be when the hind legs are drawn in towards the body.

To move with a stroke, the frog would push its hind legs backward in a straight line, while the front limbs would be pushed forward. Then, the knees would be bent while pulling the front legs towards its body. And, the last step would be the free-floating position, when the whole body and feet of the frog are resting.

When the frog shoots out its hind legs in a backward motion and then brings the ankles together, almost like a clapping position, it's known as a frog kick. This kick helps the frog to gather the momentum needed to go forward with another stroke by pushing water. While doing research, scientists found the joints in the foot of a frog rotate in different directions.

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