46 Incredible Frog Facts You Need to Know

Did you know any of these amazing frog facts? Some frogs eat garbage, some frogs live in trees, and some frogs can grow to the size of a small house cat! There are more fun frog facts to discover below. Be sure to learn more about each fact in the articles in the frog category on our blog.

Facts About What Frogs Eat

  1. Frogs are obligate carnivores meaning that they cannot survive without meat in their diet. Adult frogs eat insects, small mammals, small amphibians, small fish, and small birds. Frogs are omnivores as tadpoles and transform into carnivores as adults.
  1. Frogs are cannibals and may eat smaller frogs or even eat their own tadpoles. Large invasive frogs living in forests with high frog diversity are most likely to have a higher proportion of other frogs in their diet.
  1. Generally, large frog species can eat small snakes. Often, smaller frogs do not eat snakes since such prey is too large to fit into their mouths. Large frogs generally prefer to eat less venomous snake species but will try to bite anything that crosses their path, even 2 foot long snakes.
  1. Frogs eat a wide variety of bugs including ants, bees, beetles, cockroaches, crickets, dragonflies, earthworms, earwigs, flies, grasshoppers, grubs, larvae, mosquitoes, moths, roaches, slugs, snails, termites, and worms.
  1. At the stage of eggs, frog eggs feed on the yoke from their egg. They cannot move and have no mouths so they rely on their own storage of naturally-formed yoke to survive.
  1. Tadpoles are omnivores, feeding primarily on plants (algae) but also on small phytoplankton and other tadpoles. However, once froglets and adult frogs, the vast majority of frogs are only carnivores.
  1. Froglets, or Baby Frogs, eat small bugs, small fish, and smaller frogs. They may eat crickets, flys, mosquitos, fruit flies, guppies, minnows, small moths, small snails, small worms, tadpoles, and other froglets.
  1. There are no vegetarian frogs since the vast majority of frog species are carnivores.  However, Izecksohn’s Brazilian Tree Frog is an omnivore since it mainly feeds on plants and small fruit when available, and bugs when the trees do not bear fruits.
  1. Frogs hunt two different ways: passively or actively. Frogs can be ambush predators and employ a passive “sit-and-wait” technique where they wait for food to come to them. Other frogs actively hunt, chase, and eat their prey.
  1. Frogs eat their own skin. This is very common for amphibians and is a process called “sloughing.” Frogs naturally shed and eat their skin which contains nutrients and protein. They do so to stay healthy and their tracks from predators. 

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Facts About Frog’s Bodies

  1.  Frogs breathe through their skin, lungs, nostrils, and the lining of their mouth. The type of respiration used will vary depending on where the frog is located. Before metamorphosis into an adult frog, tadpoles breathe through their gills.
  1. Adult frogs cannot breathe underwater because they have lungs and can drown if they are filled with water. However, during hibernation, frogs slow down their heart rate and primarily breathe through their skin absorbing oxygen in the water around them.
  1. Adult frogs can grow anywhere from .30 in to 16.7 in (.77 cm to 42.5cm) and generally weigh between 0.3 oz and 98 oz (.9 g to 2.8 kg). Their size depends on their lifecycle stage, but also on species, climate, diet, environment, and gender.
  1. Frogs can trill, chirp, scream, bark, grunt, peep, beep, cluck, croak, quack, whistle, bellow, and hoot. But their choice of sound depends on their intent. Frogs make different sounds for different reasons, for example, to attract a mate, defend their territory, or fend off a predator.
  1. If you speak English, then you may believe that frogs “Ribbit Ribbit.” But if you speak French, a frog makes a “Croac Croac” sound. And for Spanish speakers, frogs make a “Croá, Croá” sound.
  1. Frogs defend themselves by puffing up their bodies, surprising their predators, playing dead, biting, screaming, urinating, using color, camouflage, and their well-built anatomy to jump, leap or swim away from their enemies.
  1. Frogs can puff up to repel mates, or surprise predators by looking larger than expected and avoid getting eaten. By filling their vocal sacs with air, frogs can expand to look larger and deter unwanted mating, startle or scare predators away.
  1. Frogs may bite if they feel scared, threatened, or in danger. Some frogs have a very strong bite, and some even have sharp teeth. Biting is a defense mechanism frogs use to surprise, scare or harm their enemies, especially if they are close to being eaten.
  1. Frogs play dead by slowing down their breathing and camouflaging as a defense mechanism to hide from predators or seem less appealing to them. Predators look for movement and if a frog looks dead or immobile, a predator has fewer chances of attacking.
  1. Frogs pee when picked up as a defense mechanism to repel an enemy. A frog will pee if it is afraid and wants to escape. They do not like to be picked up as they absorb practically everything through their skin and salts, oils, soil, and lotions from our hands can irritate them.

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Frog Reproduction Facts

  1. As a general rule, the frog life cycle consists of 4 main stages: 1. Egg, 2. Tadpole, 3. Froglet, 4. Adult Frog. The evolution through these stages is called metamorphosis and complete transformation can take up to 28 weeks depending on species and climate.
  1. Tadpoles, also called polliwogs, are the aquatic larval stage of frogs that evolves from frog eggs after 3 to 25 days. They measure about 40-45mm and live in water. Tadpoles evolve as tadpoles for 14 to 16 weeks depending on the species and the climate in which they live.
  1. The complete frog life cycle from egg to adult frog can take up to 28 weeks depending on species and climate. It can take 3 to 25 days for an egg to become a tadpole, 14 to 16 weeks for a tadpole to become a froglet, and 6 to 9 weeks to reach adulthood.
  1. It generally takes frogs 2 to 4 years to become adult frogs, to reach their full size and reproduce. The exact amount of time for them to fully grow depends on the species and the climate in which they live.
  1. As a general rule, frogs reproduce through external fertilization. The female releases her eggs into the water and the male frog simultaneously releases sperm cells which then fertilize the eggs.
  1. Most frogs reproduce in early Spring in the Northern Hemisphere which can take place as early as February to May depending on the location and climate. In the Southern Hemisphere, or where the climate is consistently warm and humid, frogs can reproduce at any time of the year.
  1. Once a male frog has attracted a female mate, the couple will generally get into an inguinal or axillary amplexus position in order to reproduce. Most often, the male frog climbs onto the female’s back and clasps her around the waist to create the amplexus position.
  1. A froglet is a small amphibian in the order Anura that completed metamorphosis from a tadpole but is still completing its development to adulthood. A froglet may still have a tail, whereas adult frogs have completed their transformation and no longer have a tail.

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Frog Habitat Facts

  1. As a general rule, the best habitat for frogs has fresh water, access to plenty of food, and a safe place to reproduce. Each of these habitat essentials makes it easier for frogs to live in the wild and keep their population thriving.
  1. Generally, most frogs cannot live in saltwater because it would dehydrate, poison, or kill them if their salt intake were too high. Frogs breathe through their skin and salt hinders that process. 
  1. Frogs are located all over the world except on some remote islands and can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
  1. Frog predators include birds like herons, crows, and ducks; reptiles such as lizards, snakes, and alligators; big game fish including bass and muskellunge; small mammals from skunks and foxes, to raccoons, otters, and monkeys; as well as water bugs, other frogs, and humans.

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Frog Facts Per Species

  1. Tree frogs can be found worldwide and have pads on their toes to stick to bark, branches, and leaves. Tree frogs are generally smaller animals with the agile ability to climb, live in trees, on leaves, branches, or near the base of trees.
  1. Poison dart frogs are small and very colorful frogs that are native to South America. They range in color from green to yellow, blue, red, black, orange, and gold, and can be solid, striped or spotted. There are about 200 species of poison dart frogs
  1. The largest frog ever recorded was the Beelzebufo which is an extinct prehistoric frog that was suggested to be almost twice the size of the living Goliath Frog at 16.7 in or 42.5 cm. 
  1. The largest living frog species on the planet is the Goliath Frog that can grow to 12.5 in (32 cm) in length and can weigh up to 7.2 lb (3.3kg). Goliath Frogs can grow larger than a rabbit or a small house cat.
  1. As a general rule, bullfrogs are green with yellow bellies and they are very large. They have a large predominant tympanum for hearing and have spotted or striped legs. African Bullfrogs have ridges on their bodies whereas American bullfrogs are generally smooth.
  1. Horned Frogs can be found in Asia and South America and have the distinct characteristic of short or long and pointy ridges stemming above their eyes to form what looks like horns. 

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General Frog Facts

  1. A frog is a cold-blooded vertebrate amphibian with bulging eyes, a long sticky tongue, no neck, short front legs and long back legs for jumping, a moist, smooth body that is generally green or olive color, and has no tail.
  1. All frogs do not sound the same since each species has its own unique calls. Male frogs make unique calls using their vocal sacs to attract female mates, defend their territories, or fend off predators.
  1. Some frogs scream when they are afraid, feel like they are in danger, to defend their territory, or if a predator gets too close. A frog scream may sound funny but it can be an effective way for them to surprise a predator and deter it from attacking. 
  1. Frogs and toads are both amphibians and Anura, and all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads. Frogs generally have moist, smooth skin and live near water, whereas toads have dry, warty skin and live on land. Toads have parotoid glands behind their eyes, whereas frogs do not.
  1. As a general rule, a pet frog costs $70 to $330 upfront. That includes soil, a terrarium, plants, some accessories, and heat lights. However, ongoing yearly costs for a pet frog can reach $360 to $520 per year for live food, electricity, and miscellaneous requirements.
  1. Frogs do not like to be handled by humans because frogs breathe through their skin and the oils, lotions, and dirt on human hands can irritate a frog’s skin. It is best to avoid handling a frog or to do so with clean, moist hands or gloves.
  1. Frogs do not stink but if they are kept as pets and their environment is not kept clean, it may stink. To eliminate or reduce odors clean their terrarium, try a different soil, or add air purifying plants that are compatible with your pet frog.
  1. Reasons to not have a pet frog include costs, demanding tank cleaning requirements, risks to children and other pets, and fragile frog health. Also, frogs do not like human contact (CTNF).

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Sources

Evans, Susan E.; Jones, Marc E. H.; David W. Krause (2008). “A giant frog with South American affinities from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 105 (8): 2951–2956. Bibcode:2008PNAS..105.2951E. doi:10.1073/pnas.0707599105. PMC 2268566. PMID 18287076.

Measey GJ, Vimercati G, de Villiers FA, Mokhatla MM, Davies SJ, Edwards S, Altwegg R. 2015. Frog eat frog: exploring variables influencing anurophagy. PeerJ 3:e1204 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1204 

Chesne, Corinne. La Grenouille. Artémis éd., 2009.

Parsons, Harry. L’univers Des Grenouilles: Amphibiens Poseurs. Éditions Du Trécarré, 2000. 

Grenouilles, Crapauds Et Rainettes: Morphologie, Comportement, Alimentation Et Reproduction …, by S. Caratozzolo, De Vecchi, 2008.