Frogs: A Mini-Documentary

Grab some popcorn and a comfortable blanket and enjoy this mini documentary we made called “Frogs: A Mini-Documentary!” It is an easy-to-watch story that is jam packed with interesting frog facts ๐Ÿ™‚ Learn about the types of frogs you can find in the wild, how many frogs you can find in the world, as well as how frogs reproduce, and so much more!

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Scroll down to see the entire transcript as well as further reading articles on our blog.

๐ŸŽ Teachers: This Frog Documentary Was Made For You

If you are looking for frog-themed lesson plans for your class, you are in the right place. I crafted a complete lesson pack for all elementary grade-levels. Not only am I passionate about frogs, but I also have what it takes to teach about them.

The lesson pack is an all-inclusive, modern, low-cost, high return on investment lesson package to save you time while lesson planning for your students at any level of primary/elementary education (JK to Grade 8 – Ages 4 to 12).

Many of the lessons in this package could fit under one or more of the following types of education content standards including life and natural sciences, population and ecosystems, diversity and adaptations of organisms, evolution & equilibrium, earth science, ecology and conservation, environmental studies, and art.

I wanted to make the best resources possible for teachers, and I am confident this is it! It is my pleasure to share my passion for frogs in a well-organized, adapted pedagogical resources for teachers, educators, and home-schooling parents alike! ๐Ÿ™‚

Get the lesson plan pack: https://toadsnfrogs.com/teachers/

๐Ÿ’ฌ Frogs: A Mini-Documentary Transcript

After watching the documentary, a few topics may have piqued your interest. You are in luck because this blog contains much more information on each subject covered in the documentary. This section contains the complete transcript of the documentary above as well as links to articles on our blog so you can learn more about each topic.

0:00 How Frogs Reproduce

How frogs reproduce can seem super confusing. Are they hugging, or just being cute? The part that confuses many people is that frogs reproduce externally, so you could say that everything happens outside of the male and female. What happens is the frogs get into Amplexus, or this hugging position with the male on top.

Then the female releases her eggs one by one, and the male fertilizes them. The newly created zygotes absorb the water around them to form a barrier of protection. Once the parents are done laying their eggs, they leave. But before all that egg-laying action happens, something else brings the couple together. These are some of calls that male frogs make to attract female frogs during the mating season.

0:40 Frog Sounds

Each frog species has their own call, and with over 7,400 known frog species around the globe, there are over 7,400 unique frog calls! Pretty amazing right? So how does this calling work? Male frogs are the ones that make the calls thanks to the vocal sacs on the sides of their mouth. The fill them up with air and then release their species-specific calls to attract females. Sometimes, their sounds are so loud they can be heard up to 1 mile away!

Frogs generally call when they are ready to mate, so during the Spring, the Wet or Monsoon seasons. Frogs may also use other calls after it rains, when they are afraid, or to protect their territory. The funny thing is, how us humans interpret frog calls changes depending on our language. For example in English-speakers say frogs make a “ribbit ribbit” sound, but french-speakers they say frogs make “croak craok” sound.

1:46 Where Frogs Reproduce

The vast majority of frogs reproduce in water, for example in ponds, marshes, bogs, fens, swamps, and temporary pools of water. But more and more of these locations are disappearing or being degraded by human activity. Without appropriate water, frogs cannot reproduce, and populations decline.

Luckily, there are many environmental protection projects out there helping protect the wetlands that frogs call home. Some are even facilitating frog reproduction. These projects sometimes accept volunteer citizens to help accelerate and expand their missions to protect frogs and their natural habitats.

2:22 Frog Gender

Knowing if a frog is male or female can be difficult depending on the species. Often, male frogs are the ones that call during mating season. Male frogs may also be smaller, or a different color than females. But sometimes, the frogs are neither female nor male. These frogs are considered intersex. Intersex is a common occurrence in nature and frogs are no exception. From birds to fish to reptiles, rodents, and even humans.

Scientists have found that certain pesticides can interfere with frog gender, making males become intersex. But there is also evidence that this is a natural occurrence as well. Male frogs may change gender to become female when there are too many males and in a group and not enough females to successfully mate. Having more females in a male-dominated group can allow the frogs to successfully reproduce.

3:13 How Many Eggs Frogs Lay

Did you know that frogs can lay 2 to over 30,000 eggs per reproductive cycle. But why do frogs lay so many eggs? The main reason why frogs lay so many eggs is for survival. Frogs have hundreds of predators lurking all around them, their eggs have no defence mechanisms, and the vast majority of adult frogs do not remain with their eggs. But there are exceptions to this rule. Most frogs do not remain with their eggs after they reproduce.

3:32 Do Frogs Stay With Their Eggs?

But, surprisingly, some frog species really care for their young. For example, some Poison Dart Frog species carry their tadpoles on their backs, or lay their eggs in different puddles around the rainforest and feed their tadpoles multiple times a day, remembering exactly where each puddle is. Oftentimes, frogs that stay with their young live in harsh conditions and have found unique adaptations to ensure their survival.

4:02 Frog Egg Metamorphosis

Here is what frog eggs look like. Some people think they hatch like chicken eggs – but they do not. Frog eggs actually go through metamorphosis, to transform into tadpoles, and they live and swim in water.

4:15 Frog Tadpoles

Tadpoles generally transform through three main steps: First, tadpoles have no feet. Then they develop their hind legs. And then their front legs. Tadpoles begin to leave the water once they have their front and hind legs.

4:45 Why Tadpoles Live in Water

But why can’t they leave the water sooner? Well, tadpoles couldn’t live on land without feet. But especially, they live in water because they can only breathe in water. Tadpoles have gills and slowly develop lungs so they can breathe outside of water.

4:56 Frog Life Cycle

Frogs go through metamorphosis when they transform from eggs to tadpoles to froglets. But what is the last stage of their life cycle? Adult frogs of course! At this stage their tail has been absorbed by their bodies and the frogs can live and breathe on land.

5:17 Why Frogs Are Amphibians

This has brought scientists to question how to classify frogs vs other animals: are frogs reptiles, mammals, or something else? Frogs are amphibians. Amphibian means โ€œdouble lifeโ€ or โ€œtwo livesโ€. Frogs, like salamanders and newts, are considered amphibians because they live part of their lives in water as tadpoles, and part of their lives on land as froglets and adult frogs.

5:49 Why Frogs Are Cold Blooded

Frogs are cold blooded animals. But that doesn’t mean they have cold blood! Cold blooded or ectothermic animals are the same temperature as their environment and can change their body temperature depending on external sources like the sun. Frogs are cold blooded animals, but so are reptiles like snakes, turtles, alligators and lizards.

6:18 Amphibian vs Reptiles

So what makes frogs different from them? Well, frogs can live on land and in water. Frogs do not have scaly skin or shells. Frogs breathe through their lungs but also through their skin. Frogs also have bulging eyes, and no tail contrary to many reptiles.

6:42 What Frogs Eat

What frogs eat can be really confusing, because what frogs eat changes depending on their life cycle stage. Tadpoles with no legs may eat different things compared to tadpoles that have developed legs. Also, froglets and adult frogs do not eat the same foods as tadpoles with no legs.

7:18 Tadpoles (No Legs) are Herbivores

At the very first stages of their lives, tadpoles feed on plant matter. Do you know what an animal that only eats plants is called? A herbivore. Herbivores like tadpoles with no legs feed on plant matter in their environment. They may feed on algae and phytoplankton, or tiny bits of plant matter in the water.

7:42 Tadpole (With Legs) are Omnivores

Once tadpoles have developed legs, they are no longer herbivores, or animals that only eat plants. They add something new to their diet. What do you think that may be? Once tadpoles start to have legs, they not only eat plants, but also meat. Not the meat you eat though! They eat animal matter like small bugs and zooplankton. Since tadpoles with legs eat both plant based foods and meat-based foods, they are Omnivores.

8:04 Froglets & Adult Frogs are Carnivores

Froglets and adult frogs are carnivores, meaning that once they can leave the water, they only feed on meat. But not that kind of meat! Small frogs tend to eat bugs and smaller prey, whereas larger frogs can also eat small mammals and small reptiles, like birds, snakes and lizards.

8:27 Types & Number of Frogs

Most people think frogs live in water; and some do. But what about the frogs you find in trees? Or the ones on the ground? Well, there are over 7,400 known frog species, and scientists discover more and more every year. But to keep things simple, there are three main kinds of frogs you can find in the wild. We are going to cover all three, but let’s start with aquatic frogs.

8:53 Aquatic Frogs

Aquatic frogs live in freshwater and have specific characteristics other frogs do not have. Aquatic frogs generally have long hind legs, webbed feet, and live in freshwater environments like marshes, bogs, and swamps.

9:11 Terrestrial Frogs

But what about these cuties? You may think toads are the ugly version of frogs, but all toads are frogs! And toads are beautiful! Toads are terrestrial frogs, meaning they live on land. Toads have short legs so they are not very good at jumping compared to other frogs, but they are excellent at digging thanks to their spaded toes.

9:38 Arboreal Frogs

But what about frogs that live in trees? Frogs that live in trees are generally referred to as tree frogs, but are also known as arboreal species. These types of frogs may live in, around, or near trees. They often have little pads or suction cups on their toes to stick to surfaces.

10:08 What Frogs Need to Survive

Frogs are one of the most diverse animal species on earth with hundreds of varieties living in very different habitats But, as a general rule, there are 3 main things that frogs need to thrive in their habitat: freshwater, shelter, and a safe place to lay eggs.

There are many places that can provide these necessities, and some habitats frogs enjoy the most are near calm lakes, ponds, marshes, swamps, bogs, and other types of calm freshwater wetlands. These places provide calm water for frogs to lay eggs, as well as plenty of shelter and food.

10:44 How Frogs Survive Winter

But some locations do not provide these ideal conditions all year round. For example, some frogs live in places that are very cold in the winter, or very hot in the summer. So how do frogs survive these harsh conditions? Frogs survive winter by hibernating. Hibernating consists in a long period of rest, and often takes place for many animals during winter.

Keep in mind, many scientists prefer to use the word brumation for cold-blooded animals, so you could say frogs brumate during winter. Aquatic frogs float in water below the ice, toads burrow underground below the frost line, and tree frogs hide under leaf litter and freeze solid during winter. Each type of frog has a different way of surviving the cold.

11:46 How Frogs Survive the Hot Season

But what about the frogs that live in the desert? Some frogs live in very dry, arid locations like the desert. And these frogs also have a period of rest, but instead of it being during winter, it is during the pique of summer when it is too hot for them to survive above ground. These frogs Estivate to survive the heat. They generally burrow underground during the hot season, and come back out during the wet season to reproduce.

12:14 Is it OK to Pet Frogs?

Here is a strange question you probably never thought of: Why is it ok to pet your dog? Well, dogs clearly like to be pet. But they also have a coat of fur protecting their skin, and they breathe through their lungs. What about frogs? Is it ok to pet them? Contrary to many other animals, frogs do not have anything protecting their skin, like fur, feathers, or scales.

12:41 How Frogs Breathe & Drink

Frogs actually have extremely thin, sensitive skin. Adult frogs use their lungs to breathe, but also breathe through their skin by taking in oxygen from the water through a process called osmosis. Frogs take in oxygen from the water, through their skin and expel carbon dioxide.

13:03 Why Water is Important to Frogs

But what do you think happens when that water is polluted? Since water quality is so important to the frogs ability to breathe and drink, a frogs skin can easily absorb toxins and pollution in the water. Frogs can be injured or killed by pesticides, road runoff, and harsh chemicals dumped into their environments.

13:27 Frog Food Chain

Water and light are important for all forms of life in ecosystems. The light from the sun helps plants grow through photosynthesis. The plants are eaten by animals, which are in turn eaten by larger animals. When these animals die, they are turned into nutrient rich soil by decomposers, and that nutrient rich soil helps producers grow. This consists in the food chain. Here is how a food chain works

In every habitat there are producers, consumers, and decomposers. Producers capture the energy from the sun through photosynthesis to grow and produce food for other animals. The animals that eat plants are consumers. These include herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores. When these animals die, they are eaten by decomposers like bacteria and fungi to produce nutrient rich soil that in turn helps plants grow.

14:44 What Eats Frogs (Predators)

Frogs have many predators in their food webs that think they make a great snack. They can be found in the air, in the water, and on the ground, including snakes, lizards, birds, and small mammals. Therefore all of these elements are affected by each-other. For example if the water is polluted, plants cannot grow, slowly killing off the rest of the life cycle or requiring them to migrate.

14:56 How Frogs Survive (Defend Themselves)

So how do frogs defend themselves to survive in the wild? Frogs have many incredible tactics to escape or avoid predators like playing dead, surprising their enemies with color, or camouflaging to avoid being seen. Some frogs are poisonous and use color to show predators not to eat them, or secrete toxins through the glands on their skin. Frogs may urinate to fend off predators including humans.

15:21 How to Identify a Frog Species

When you find a frog in your backyard or a local pond, you may naturally wonder what species it is But with over 7,400 known frog species around the globe, and with more and more frogs discovered every month, it can be hard to know which species you have found! Thankfully there are a few easy questions you can ask to find out what kind of frog you found. First, where are you located? Your country or location will help determine the kind of frog you found.

Next, where did you find the frog? In a body of water, on a tree, or on land? Then look at the traits of the frog, the size, color, skin texture, and patterns. Answering all of these questions will really help you narrow down the type of frog you found. For example, here we have a large green, aquatic frog that is found in North America. I has smooth skin and few patterns. Its an American Bullfrog! You can use the tables on our site to identify the frog you found based on these questions.

16:26 Why People Hate Cane Toads (Invasive Species)

So many people hate this toad species. Why you ask? Because it has wrecked havoc on the ecosystems where it lives. It reproduces very quickly laying up to 30,000 eggs twice per year. It is super toxic killing off any predator that attempt to eat it. And, it eats so much wildlife, from snakes, to baby alligators, birds, bats and more. But how did this happen? How did this cute little toad become such a big nuisance? It’s because of humans.

Humans brought Cane Toads from South America to many places around the globe in the 1930s as a natural way to kill cane beetles. But, Cane Toads didn’t only eat beetles. They thrived where they were introduced and proliferated quickly becoming a huge problem to pets, humans, and local native wildlife. People hate Cane Toads, but it’s our own fault they are where they are today.

17:27 Frogs in Mythology

Frogs and toads represent good luck, good fortune and prosperity in many cultures around the world from Asia, to South America, to Ancient Egypt, and within many Native American tribes. So why do so many frogs have such a bad reputation? Why are some people afraid of frogs, or hate them? Well, like we saw perviously, Cane Toads are an invasive species and they are giving all the other toad species a bad reputation.

But the main reason frogs have a bad rep is because of christianity. Many years ago, in order to grow its dominance, Christianity ridiculed other cultural beliefs that saw frogs in a positive light. Frogs were portrayed as demons, responsible for the plague. And these beliefs are still around today. But frogs are super important for the health of our ecosystems, and for our own health!

18:16 Why Frogs are Important

Many people think frogs are useless. But frogs play a vital role in ecosystems worldwide. They form a key part of the food chain, prevent disease transmission by feeding on potential carriers, and keep our waterways clean. Frogs offer potential advancements in the medical field with around 10% of Nobel Prizes in Physiology and Medicine resulting from frog-based research. Without frogs, we lose access to healthy ecosystems and human health advancements.

18:48 Why Frogs are Bioindicators

Frogs also act as bioindicators for researchers meaning frogs can help us understand the health of a natural ecosystem. So what does it mean that frogs are bioindicators? Well, humans can gain insight into an environmentโ€™s overall condition by studying frogs, providing time for proactive measures or adaptations. If the frogs are dying, this will impact the entire food chain and ecosystem. So we can study the water quality and look for pollution or diseases that could be killing the frogs and take measures to help the ecosystem thrive again before it’s too late.

19:27 Why Frogs are Endangered

When measures are not taken to improve a degrading ecosystem, frogs can become endangered and die off. Some of the main reasons ecosystems where frogs live are at risk include deforestation, urbanization, roads dividing migration areas, pollution, and climate change.

For example, the Western Chorus Frog thrived along the Saint Laurence river in Quebec. But due to urbanization along this area, this frog is now listed as vulnerable to extinction in Quebec, and is an endangered species in many other parts of Canada.

The good thing is that there are associations, scientists, biologists, and concerned citizens who have been involved in helping protect their natural ecosystems, and have been working to revive their populations.

20:01 How to Help With Frog Conservation

You can help with frog conservation in many ways. You can start in your backyard by making it frog-friendly, for example with a frog pond, or a hibernaculum for toads. Do not use pesticides in your garden, keep your pets away, and cover your pool when it’s not in use. Avoid touching frogs, or only pick them up when its necessary, and be sure to wear gloves. Participate in a local a frog conservation effort, or citizen science project.

20:48 Common Frog Myths Debunked

You probably heard that toads can give you warts, or that kissing a frog will make it into a prince. Let’s see if these are true. Here are some common things people believe about frogs. Pause the video and decide which ones are facts or myths.

Ok are you ready? Here are the answers. Toads cannot give you warts. Kissing a frog will not transform it into a prince and can that actually be pretty dangerous since frogs can carry viral and bacterial diseases on their skin like salmonella. And pink frogs do not exist. I guess it was a bit of a trick question because none are true.

21:28 Common Frog Color Myths Debunked

You may have seen these kinds of frog images on the internet But do they really exist? – Let’s find out by playing a game. One of these frogs does not exist: is it the tomato frog, the rainbow frog, or the blue poison dart frog? One of these is also fake, which one is it? The Red Eyed Tree Frog, the or the Pink Frog?

Here are the answers: Rainbow and Pink Frogs do not exist. It’s really important to know because it is so easy to make fake images these days. Learn more about frogs in the playlist above. And be sure to head over to toadsnfrogs.com/teachers if you are an educator.

22:08 Become a Member

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