All Frogs and Toads are Amphibians
There are more than 6,000 species of amphibians on Earth, including frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts. One-third of amphibians are threatened with extinction. For most amphibians, life begins in the water—the young have gills and lack legs when they hatch from eggs laid in the water. They metamorphose, growing legs and changing in other ways to live on land. The word "amphibian" comes from Greek—both lives. Amphibians became the first vertebrates to live on land, and like their "cold-blooded" reptile relatives, depend on external energy sources (such as the sun) to maintain their body temperatures.
What's the difference between a frog and a toad?
Frogs tend to live in damp places and usually jump, not run. Toads tend to live in drier places and run, but usually do not jump. Generally speaking, though, when we think of frogs, we generally picture what are called "True Frogs" who are members of the family Ranidae, containing more than 400 species. Frogs from this family can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
Frogs usually have these characteristics:
- two bulging eyes
- strong, long, webbed hind feet that are adapted for leaping and swimming
- smooth or slimy skin (generally, frogs tend to like moister environments)
- Frogs tend to lay eggs in clusters.
The term toads tends to refer to "True Toads" and are members of the family Bufonidae, containing more than 300 species. True Toads can be found worldwide except in Australasia, polar regions, Madagascar, and Polynesia, though Bufo marinus has been artificially introduced into Australia and some South Pacific islands. Besides Bufo, the family includes 25 genera, all of which, like the frogs, are anura (without tails)
Toads usually have these characteristics:
- stubby bodies with short hind legs (for walking instead of hopping)
- warty and dry skin (usually preferring dryer climates)
- paratoid (or poison) glands behind the eyes
- The chest cartilage of toads is different also.
- Toads tend to lay eggs in long chains.
Fun Facts: You get warts from human viruses, not from frogs and toads. A group of frogs is called an 'army.' A group of toads is called a 'knot.'
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