A Few Facts about Frogs/Toads that You Probably Didn’t Know!
Most biologists agree that frogs and other amphibians, are both an indicator species and a keystone species for the environment. What do those terms mean? Well, an indicator species is one that “indicates” or helps to suggest and show, unnatural changes in the environment. When the frogs leave or die out, it is an important sign to scientists that there must be something wrong , whether it be with the atmosphere, the other animals in the ecosystem, the water, etc. Frogs are also keystone species, which means that, when they die out, the entire ecosystem can go significantly out of whack due to the importance of the species. If frogs were to die out in a swamp, mosquitoes would grow out of control, plants might overgrow too, and animals that eat frogs like eagles and foxes could die out.
There is a species of toad found in South America, also called the Surinam Toad, that is known for its strange reproductive habits, such as the males creating a sharp throat noise instead of croaking, and the females carry eggs in pockets of fat on their backs.
Well, you may be thinking, what exactly is the difference between a frog and a toad? Most people know that frogs are slimy and smooth, and toads are rocky and rough and usually live in dryer climates. For one, frogs have many more predators than toads, and toads usually have bitter tasting and thick skin. Next time someone asks you about frogs, tell them that!
Frogs can move at a pace of 11 mph tops, and some species can jump over 130 inches in one leap! After all, they do need to often evade predators quickly by running (or hopping) away! You wouldn’t think they can move that fast, but just try to catch one in its natural habitat, the water or the marshlands. Not only do they blend in with the algae, but they move super quickly too!
Have you ever read the book Frog and Toad? It is a book about two amphibians that go on adventures such as living in a tree, eating cookies, and biking. It was a very popular book in the 1970s, but many kids still read it today. What you may have not known, when you were reading the book as a kid especially, is that frog and toad, two boy amphibians, could’ve actually been an LGBT couple with a gay author! How cool is that? It is important to recognize good LBGT role models in kids’ shows and books, especially so long ago when the subject hadn’t really been talked about.