Frogs

SO WHAT IS A GROUP OF FROGS CALLED?

Hmm. A hint. It is not a navy, but an army. Just one of many fun frog facts. But what about a group of toads? They are called a knot. Who thinks these names up?!

frog facts

Frogs come in all sizes and colors. Photo: Wayne Robinson

frog facts

Frogs never close their eyes, even when sleeping. Photo: Dustin Smith/NC Zoo

OTHER COOL FROG FACTS

How many kinds of frogs are in the world? The answer, just under 5,000 species of frogs exist, with approximately 90 in the US. Wow, that’s a lot of frogs.

And frogs are pretty cool. They are exceptional jumpers, make weird croaking noises, and have really slimy skin and big bulging eyes which never close, not even when they are sleeping. What’s not to love? Oh, and they regularly shed their skin and eat it. Yum, but isn’t it the ultimate in recycling?

ARE FROGS AND TOADS THE SAME?

But is there a difference between a frog and a toad? Frogs can live in both water and on land. Most start out as tadpoles before metamorphosing into frogs. Most toads live on land.

Another fun frog fact. Both are amphibians, but frogs have longer legs and slimy skin whereas toads have dry, bumpy skin and shorter legs.

BUT FROGS ARE IN TROUBLE!

But there is bad news about frogs. They are in serious trouble. Frog populations are considered one of the most threatened groups of animals on our planet. Their populations are rapidly declining due to habitat loss, disease, pollution, over-harvesting for the pet trade, consumption by people (have you ever eaten frog legs?) and climate changes. Sadly, over 120 frog species have become extinct since the 1980s.

frog facts

A Carolina gopher frog. Photo: Dustin Smith/NC Zoo

In our home state of North Carolina, the Carolina gopher frog is one of the most imperiled frogs in the state. Their habitat has virtually disappeared with only 6-8 known populations in existence.

And frogs are considered indicators of a healthy environment. So when they disappear, it means we humans are also in trouble. Plus they help keep the insect population down by eating lots of bugs and are an important food source for many animals.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP FROGS?

frog facts

Jumpin’ Jack-in-the-Pulpit, a bronze sculpture by Dale Weiler

We can be better stewards of our environment. Using pesticides kills frogs, along with a lot of other animals. Because frogs absorb moisture and air through their skin, they are very susceptible to chemicals we use on our lawns, around our house and those we put in our water system. The fewer chemicals you use, the better for the frogs.

A really fun activity is to join Frog Watch USA a citizen science project which monitors frog calls in the US wetlands from February through August of each year. Volunteer, start a Frog Watch chapter or just learn about frogs and toads. The more we understand about frog behavior, the better we can help them.

What are we doing? Right now, we are working with the NC Zoo to raise money and awareness for their frog conservation programs. All the proceeds from the sale of Jumpin’ Jack-in-the-Pulpit, a limited edition frog bronze, are being donated to the zoo’s amphibian program. We just have a few left. If you would like more information or would like to buy one, email loti@weilerwoods.com.

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