Frogs and Toads

Frogs and toads are amphibians without tails – at least after they pass through the tadpole stage. The name of their scientific Order Anura literally means “no tail”. As mentioned with the salamanders, the amphibians evolved from lobe-finned fishes that made the transition to land. Frogs and toads also inhabit only freshwater environments, not marine environments.

Of the 7,200 species, most are frogs. The frogs inhabit areas that are moist, and their skins are smooth. They have long rear legs which they use for leaping and hopping long distances. The many different kinds of frogs include: water frogs, treefrogs, poison frogs, glass frogs, foam-nest frogs, rain frogs and many more. Many of the treefrogs and poison frogs are especially colorful.

Toads account for about 600 species in this Order. Toads have adapted to drier environments than the frogs. They leave the ponds where they are hatched to travel far overland. They can even be found in sand dunes. So toads have dry skin covered in small bumps. Toads have shorter legs than frogs, and they travel by walking or making very short hops.