April is National Frog Month, dedicated to the loved (or loathed) amphibian. In honor of all things frog, we've rounded up a collection of adorable frog pictures paired with cool facts that might surprise you. Considered one of the oldest amphibians on the planet, frogs have inspired artists, writers, scientists, and dancers for years. Click through to learn more and celebrate the unique characteristics of frogs.
In honor of Leap Day, Brittany Schwaigert of Grey Grey Designs hosted an afternoon party for her kids. "Because I am a mom to boys who love slimy and gross things, I thought a frog party would be right up their alley," Schwaigert said.
Shades of green — from chartreuse to lime to Kelly — comprised the color scheme of the soiree, and texture played a major role in everything from the food to the glittered accents. Read on to see more of this "toad-ally" great time, plus Brittany's explanation of each component of the celebration.
I keep looking at my finger, then back at this picture, then back at my finger . . . wow! Once found all over the continent, the European Tree Frog is endangered in Western Europe because of the negative influences of human activity on their natural habitats. This babe's just chillin' with his keeper at a German Zoo – the facility continues to breed the species in order to reintroduce them to the wild in Nuremberg and the city's surrounding areas.
To see another picture of five little tree frogs just sittin' in a tree, read more
Bella got an unexpected treat when her dinner scraps included a poisonous cane toad. She swallowed the creature – that would normally kill a dog in about 20 minutes – WHOLE. I wouldn't believe what happened next if I didn't see it with my very own eyes here!
Seriously, I'm stunned that even the toad made it out alive . . . and even the pooch seems fine. Once again, it's another amazing tale of nature.
Usually when I think of animal conservation, I think of protecting the animals' natural habitat, educating the masses on the need for conservation, and maybe even helping nature along with breeding, but I've never heard of putting them on ice!
In Moscow, a research team is trying to save the rarest of toad and frog species from extinction by freezing their sperm and eggs at minus 200 degrees for later use. With over 3,000 species on the endangered list, Natalia Sheshova from the Institute of Biophysics in Moscow says they are learning other ways to use science to their advantage as well:
“We’re learning to freeze embryo cells too, to give us a complete genetic picture. We hope that if a certain species does become extinct, we can retrieve the frozen cells and reproduce it.”
I suppose desperate times call for desperate measures!
With only a few species of salamanders and worms known to be without lungs, a species of frog – the Barbourula kalimantanensis – was added to that very short list after being discovered in a remote province on Borneo Island. In August of last year, David Bickford, an evolutionary biologist at the National University of Singapore, was one of the few expeditioners to discover the unique amphibian. The small brown spotted frog, found along the fast moving rivers of the island, brings an interesting comparison from the researcher:
"These are about the most ancient and bizarre frogs you can get on the planet. They are flat and have eyes that float above the water. They have skin flaps coming off their arms and legs," describing them as "a squished version of Jabba the Hutt."
Straight out of a Star Wars flick, researchers say that the frog (although totally weird) is not a mistake – the species has evolved to adapt to the cold and oxygen rich rivers that it calls home. And this may sound totally crazy, but I would think that breathing through your skin can't be all that bad. I mean, you wouldn't have to worry about asthma, pneumonia, and lung cancer, but if your pores got clogged, would you have trouble breathing?
I'm always amazed by the natural camouflage of many amphibians! From toads to frogs, the hoppers make me jump for joy. I've collected some pictures of these creatures from the touring Frogs: A Chorus of Colors exhibit – can you spot them in their recreated habitats? Check out the slideshow and see!
Happy National Zoo Day! While I am first to admit that animals should stay in their natural habitats whenever possible, oftentimes captive populations are the only hope for species that are in danger. The members of the American Zoological Association (AZA) are at the forefront of conservation efforts of endangered creatures – protecting and breeding animals in captivity helps species get back on its feet and monitors problems as well. If you're curious why they are calling 2008 the Year of the Frog, read more
Did you know that toads are technically frogs? Both frogs and toads are amphibians and belong to the same order, Anura, which means "without a tail." However, toads and frogs belong to different families. The term toad tends to refer to the "true toads".... which are members of the family Bufonidae, containing more than 300 species, whereas the term "true frogs" describes members of the Ranidae family with over 400 species. A tad tricky, huh? Basically, that just means there are actually differences between the true frogs and the true toads.
I bet you know more about true toads and true frogs than you think – test your knowledge with this quiz.Take the Quiz