What is the difference between frog and toad?

You are on a walk through the woods when a small brown and green creature jumped across your path. Being careful not to step on it, he bent down to take a closer look.

Have you noticed a frog or toad?

Although distinguishing between frogs and toads can be difficult, there are a few features that may help you on your way to identifying amphibians.

The first is the skin of the creature. If the skin is soft and moist, you are likely looking at a frog. If it’s dry, rough, and bumpy, you’re likely looking at a frog. Although the idea of ​​getting warts from touching a frog isn’t entirely correct, remembering it can be helpful. The bumps on a frog’s back won’t cause you a skin problem, but they do look warty, which provides a clue that what you’re looking at is probably a frog, not a toad.

Another hint is the location of the animal. Since frogs need to keep their skin moist, they are often found near water. They usually breed in fresh water as well, and a cluster of eggs floating on the surface of a pond or attached to a water plant may be a sign of a nearby frog. On the other hand, many frog species do not need the security of nearby bodies of water, as their skin tends to retain the moisture it needs better than that of frogs. If there isn’t a pond, lake, or river nearby, you’re probably looking at a frog.

Finally, you might want to take a look at the legs of this creature. The hind legs of many species of frogs show that these animals live mostly in water. They are longer than the head and body, which gives frogs the ability to jump far above the ground and swim quickly through the water. In contrast, the hind legs of many types of frogs are shorter than the head and body, and the animals appear squat and round. By moving themselves using small jumps, frogs can sometimes appear to be crawling. (A few species of frogs and toads move themselves by walking rather than hopping or hopping.)

If you already know these facts and still can’t tell the difference between a frog and a toad, don’t feel embarrassed. There’s a reason the two creatures look so alike: frogs and toads are both tailless amphibians belonging to the anura order. And that’s not all. frog And Toad Not completely immutable categories. There is no taxonomic basis for these designations. When it comes right down to it, all frogs fall into the toad category. The differences that people have long used to separate the Anurans into these two groups are mostly superficial.

while frog It is a term usually applied to anurans with long hind legs, smooth skin covered in mucus, and a number of creatures identified as frogs that have atypical features that make identification complicated. For example, sedge frogs (family Hyperoliidae) are one of the few frog taxa that have adhesive discs in their toes to aid in climbing, and flying frogs of the family Rhacophoridae can use an expanded webbing between their toes to glide for distances of 12 to 15 m (40 to 50 mm). ahead). ) through the air.

The same kind of difference exists in Toad category. Anurans from about 30 different genera are grouped into this category without being “true frogs” (only members of the Bufonidae family are given this honor). A variety of “not real” frogs survive to young – one of very few anurans to do so. Toad In fact, this is such a vacillating description that one member of the family might be called a frog while the other might be called a frog. For example, within the family Brachycephalidae there is a species (Brachicephalus didactylus) which bear the names of the Brazilian golden frog, the Brazilian flea frog, the Brazilian flea frog, and the Izixon frog.

So, in light of all this, there is no sure way to tell the difference between a frog and a toad. But more often than not, the three distinguishing features we’ve covered will get you close to the mark. The Anurans won’t mind calling some frogs “toads” in the process.

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