What Eats Frogs? Here's The List Of Predators You Won't Believe | Kidadl


What Eats Frogs? Here's The List Of Predators You Won't Believe

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Frogs belong to a diverse and primarily carnivorous group of short-bodied, tailless amphibians.

There are 4700 species of frogs worldwide with various unique features except for Antarctica. Let's learn about their unique characteristics.

Frogs have obtruding eyes, lack tail, and contain webbed hind feet that are made convenient for them to swim. They have smooth skin. Usually, frogs come in dark green, brown, and black colors. The majority of them are aquatic, and few live on land and trees. These creatures are cold-blooded, and their body temperature is related to the environment. They are dually lunged but can also use skin for respiration. They also contain long and sturdy limbs to catch their prey. South America is a shelter to a wide variety of species of frogs.

The female species of some frogs (Surinam toads) lays up to 100 eggs over its back until they are embedded in a honeycomb-like arrangement. The fully developed young toads transpire through the membrane 10 to 12 weeks later.

Frogs eat their own old and dead skin after shedding once a week. When the frog engulfs the prey, it winks, pushing down its eyeballs on top of its mouth to press down the food through the throat. Many tiny frogs eat insects such as flies, moths, and mosquitos. But, did you know that the frog has many predators such as birds and even a lizard?

Most frogs have teeth on their upper jaw to hold their prey until the frog engulfs it. A frog in Indonesia lacks lungs and respires only through its skin. The male of the Darwin species swallows the tadpoles as they hatch, keeping the tiny amphibians in his vocal sac for two months(60 days). This frog allows it to grow and expand later, coughing up the fully developed frogs. The blue-jeans frog is a poison-dart frog with a red body with blue legs, often known as the strawberry dart frog. The red-eyed tree frog lays its eggs on the bottom of leaves that float on water, and after hatching, the tadpoles fall into the water below. 

If you have found the features of frogs interesting and are willing to know about other varieties of animals, you can refer to what eats butterflies and what eats bees?

Common Frogs Predators

Frogs are an excellent menu for various animals in wildlife, so they are unsafe, as predators search for the frogs on the ground and underwater. Frogs generally live in freshwater as they could die when placed in salt water. Frog predators include birds like herons, storks, seagulls, crows, ducks, swans, hawks, owls, cranes, blue jays, loons, kingfishers, ravens, and geese. Herons, crane birds, and other birds wait beneath the water silently to catch the frogs. The existence of these kinds of birds in a fish-free pond is the criterion for the presence of frogs. So, birds eat frogs, and so does a lizard.

Reptiles like small and large lizards, snakes, garter snakes, monitor lizards, snapping turtles, alligators, and Asian keelback snakes also feed on frogs. Newts eat tadpoles, and other aquatic animals like snapping turtles also eat frogs. Alligators commonly eat frogs in any section of their aquatic ecosystem, like Florida, Georgia, and some parts of China.

Fishes that include snook, redfish, pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, and largemouth bass eat frogs. Fishermen often utilize plastic frogs that lure top-water bait to engage and catch fish. Small fish like koi, goldish, and other bettas eat frog eggs.

In North America, many mammals feed on frogs that include skunks, foxes, raccoons, otters. Our beloved pets like cats and dogs could also be predators at times as they may intentionally or unintentionally eat frogs while playing or during any other activities. They get sick, vomit, and lose appetite when they eat a frog. In some parts of the world, monkeys might also prey and eat frogs.

Large frogs are also predators and blissfully feast over the tiny frogs and tadpoles. Some frogs might eat their tadpoles. The presence of large and invasive species of frogs in forests abundantly eat other frogs.

Surprisingly, humans eat frogs too. In countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia, only certain frogs are hunted by humans. Frog legs are considered luxuries in some countries like France, South Africa, and southern parts of the United States.

Trading frogs as pets by humans is also encouraging their exploitation. Although it might sound fascinating petting a frog, few frogs are endangered due to human supremacy. Species like the goliath frog is endangered because of such activities.

What eats frogs in a freshwater biome?

Many frogs spend lots of time in the water or in the vicinities of water to keep themselves wet to breathe. Although it keeps them less vulnerable to land predators, it makes them more susceptible to water predators. Frog tadpoles and eggs may also be eaten by predators in the water, such as the dragonfly.

Fish and also various kinds of aquatic turtles and birds are considered to be threatening to frogs. Frogs must be cautious of other species of frogs as they might not hesitate to feast on them and swallow them.

Frog eggs are eaten by predators like leeches, dragonflies, diving beetles, newts, dragonfly larvae, and many other large bugs and marine insects. Many also eat tadpoles, particularly the smaller tadpoles. The younger species of frogs could turn into prey for many other large animals that prey on adult frogs, although few of these frogs or tadpoles are not worth the chase.

Other Dangers To Frogs

Frogs are found in every natural habitat around the world except Antarctica.

The common frog is no longer common for various reasons like shrinking habitats, artificial developments, and lack of habitat management and disease. Let's study the other threatening factors for frogs.

Frogs mostly spend their time in the water, and they have intolerant skins towards pollution. Chemicals like petrol, detergents, insecticides, and fertilizers could harm frogs when entering the waterways. Water run-off, rubbish, slit, and garden waste in stormwater drains are harmful to frogs and tadpoles.

The plague minnow is a small fish often known as mosquitofish. It is known for eating native frog eggs and tadpoles. Never instigate this fish in your garden pond. Other fishes like trout, carp, and goldfish also eat native frog eggs and tadpoles. These species should not be put in garden ponds or dams.

'Banana box' frogs are displaced frogs that are accidentally moved from their native habitat. Displaced frogs constitute a high risk of transmitting diseases to local species of frogs. They should be considered infected frogs and should never be released in the wild unless special permissions are given. Frog chytrid fungus is a deadly frog disease, and humans play their part in spreading this disease.

How do frogs protect themselves from predators?

Frogs live both on land and in freshwater. They fall prey to many predators chasing tadpoles, eggs, and themselves on land and water, such as dragonflies, leeches, opossums, hawks, reptiles like lizards, snakes, snapping lizards, otters, ducks, and birds that love to eat frogs. Frogs are distant from the food chain and have many predators chasing them. But frogs engage in intelligent ways to protect themselves from the predation of reptiles like snakes, lizards, otters, and other animals.

Frogs protect themselves by startling their predators, screaming, urinating, and many more intelligent ways. Frogs contain vocal sacks that they use to attract a partner in spring or scare a predator. This animal sometimes puffs up its body with the help of air to appear much larger to intimidate a predator. This can even startle the enemy and push them back.

Frog enemies are also intimidated by the colored hidden spots in their skin folds or the stomach. These spots appear as eyes. When the predator gets close to them, the frog might instantly raise to disclose the fake eyes on its body and distress the predator.

This animal is a coach in even camouflaging. Frogs can hide in their vicinities spotlessly by adapting the color of their skin to the color around them. Mostly they are of the same color as their environment.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what eats frogs, then why not take a look at what eats skunks or poison dart frogs facts?

Written By
Deepthi Reddy

A content writer, travel enthusiast, and mother of two kids (12 and 7), Deepthi Reddy is an MBA graduate who has finally struck the right chord in writing. The joy of learning new things and the art of writing creative articles gave her immense happiness, which helped her write with more perfection. Articles about travel, movies, people, animals and birds, pet care, and parenting are a few of the topics written by her. Traveling, food, learning about new cultures, and movies have always interested her, but now her passion for writing is also added to the list.

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