Fun frog facts

*How to tell a frog from a toad: Frogs have smoother, moister skin; toads are dry and 'warty' looking (although they cannot give you warts!). Toads spend more time on land, and they are stockier. Toad eggs are laid in strands, like a necklace. Frog eggs are laid in masses.

*Frogs and toads have such thin skins that they can breathe oxygen through them when they hibernate.

*When they swallow, some toads and frogs sink their eyeballs back down into their heads to help push the food down their throats.

*Some frogs in northern North America literally freeze over the winter. They have a special glucose 'antifreeze' in their system that protects their vital organs when 35 to 40 percent of their body water turns to ice.

*You can tell male green frogs and bullfrogs from female ones by looking at the round 'tympanum,' or ear, beside their eyes. In males, the tympanum can be twice the size of the eye; in females, it is about the same size.

*One of the most familiar frog calls is one that many people have never heard in real life. According to biologists at the University of California at Davis, when Hollywood filmmakers wanted frog calls to convey the feeling of nighttime outdoors, they recorded local frogs. 'Consequently,' the biologists say, 'the "ribbit-ribbit" calls of this species have become the stereotypical frog call, even in regions where they don't occur.'

Where to find more on frogs

Where to find more on frogs

For Frogwatch-Ontario, go to www.cciw.ca/frogwatching/intro.html for information, frog calls, and online registration.

In the United States, go to www.frogweb.gov/adopt.html Here, too, you can register, get information, and listen to frog calls. Tel.: (301) 497-5819. Or write: Frogwatch USA, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center USGS-BRD, 12100 Beech Forest Road, Laurel, MD 20708-4038.

You can also check out a good guidebook, such as Peterson's or Audubon. Ask your local librarian to help you.

A major exhibition called 'Frogs' is at San Francisco's Exploratorium science museum through February 2000. You can 'visit' the exhibit online and link to other frog sites at www.exploratorium.edu/frogs

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