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Comparison and Contrast Between Frogs and Toads

Comparison and Contrast Between Frogs and Toads

SIMILARITIES AND DISSIMILARITIES BETWEEN FROGS AND TOADS. Most people find it very difficult to differentiate between a frog and a toad. They often mix them up. Their physical features are very much alike. The physical distinctions, however, can easily get blurred because sometimes the features appear mixed or less obvious, and certain species even legitimately fall into both categories. Although frogs and toads seem similar in appearance, they are very different on the basis of origin, habitat, life span, reproduction and to some extent, appearance.

Frogs are very unique. They are found in many different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Frogs have smooth, wet skin. They possess smooth or slimy, green or brown skin with dark markings. They have pointed heads and strong, long, webbed hind feet that are adapted for leaping and swimming. They have different eye colors including brown, silver, green, gold and red along with different shapes and sizes of pupils. Some of the frogs have sticky padding on their feet while others have webbed feet. It is obvious that not even all the frogs have the same qualities.

Frogs have teeth in their upper jaw. They live most of the time in or near water. They are active day as well as night. Males call while floating or sitting in water. Females do not call during the breeding season, but they may give a distress call when captured by a predator. Many species lay eggs in a film on the surface of the water, while others lay eggs in large clumps attached to vegetation. Tadpoles of true frogs may take two years or more to transform into adults. They can be found almost everywhere excluding Greenland, Antarctica, Madagascar, New Zealand, and Australia.

A group of frogs is called an army of frogs. The average life span of a frog is ten years. Frogs belong to the Ranidae family containing more than 400 species. Members of this family include the bullfrog, common frog, green frog, leopard frog, marsh frog, pickerel frog and wood frog. Toads, on the other hand, belong to the Bufonidae family containing more than 300 species. They too have numerous shapes, sizes, and texture, but they don’t have much variety in color. They have light brown skin with brown markings. Toads are chubby and have warty, dry skin.

Their pupils do have different shapes, sizes, and colors, but generally they are egg-shaped, small and black. They possess paratoid (or poison) glands behind the eyes. The chest cartilage of toads is different from frogs also and they have no teeth. A group of toads is called a knot of toads. They have stubby bodies with short hind legs for walking instead of hopping. Usually they have webbed feet. Female toads lay thousands of eggs in long strings attached to vegetation. Tadpoles transform more quickly and at a smaller size than frogs.

Toads tend to lay their eggs in long chains but there are some toads (Genera Nectophrynoides), however, that are the only types of anurans to bear live young. They can also lay sixty to one thousand eggs at any one time. These eggs will develop into tadpoles and then into toads. They hibernate in the winter by digging deep into the mud to prevent freezing. Since they cannot drink water, they need to stay wet in order to absorb the water. They do spend some of their time in water, but they mostly live in moist places like woods, fields and gardens. Toads are active at night and can be found in most of Europe, Asia and Northern Africa.

Toads can live up to forty years. Toads and frogs are alike in many ways as well. Frogs and toads are amphibians belonging to the order Anura. They are both cold- blooded. Both live alone most of the time. They have the same way to catch and eat food. Both of them use their tongue to catch and gulp down their prey. They are both carnivorous and eat almost the same foods like bugs insects, fish, etc. Also, toads and frogs have the same enemies, which include snakes and birds. The eggs of both look like specks of dust floating on top of the water in a jelly-like substance.

After one or two weeks, tadpoles begin to emerge from the jelly-like spawn, which they feed on during their first few days before moving on to nibble at algae with their rasping teeth. At this stage, the tadpoles look more like fish, with gills and a long swimming tail, than frog or toads. They breathe through the gills like a fish. It takes around twelve to fourteen weeks for tadpoles to develop further and the process of change is known as ‘metamorphosis’. At the end of this stage, the tadpoles drop their gills and tail and develop legs and lungs.

The last stage, after which the tadpole becomes a frog or toad, could take up to one year for frogs and about two years for frogs. To sum up, frogs and toads do seem similar but they have several different qualities regarding their origin, their natural habitat, their reproductive patterns and their appearance (shape, size, color, and texture). So it is crystal clear that there are significant but few similarities between these two animals but there are various differences between them. Hopefully, after people have read this, they will no longer get frogs and toads confused or mixed up.