What is a frog ?
Sizes of frogs ?
Where do frogs live ?
How does a frog catch an insect ?
How does the frog protect itself from the enemy ?
Singing Frogs ?
Life Cycle of frogs
Why are frogs important ?
More frog facts & Activities

What are frogs ?

Frogs are a kind of small animal belonging to a group called vertebrates (animals with backbones) known as amphibians. This mean that they live part of their life in water and the other part of it on land. The word amphibian comes from 2 Greek words, "amphi" which means "both" and "bios" which means "life". Amphibians are cold-blooded animals. This mean that their body temperature is the same as the surrounding temperature. Their skin absorbs water into their body so they do not have to drink water to survive. Frogs have strong hind legs to enable them leap forward at a great distance. The front legs or arms are short. They are used to prop the frog up when it sits.

The Cricket frog (4cm or 1.5 inch long) can leap 40 times its length in one jump !!

How big is the biggest and how small is the smallest ?

The largest frog is the giant or Goliath frog of West Central Africa. It can grow up to more than 1 ft long (30 cm). The smallest is the Cuban Pygmy frog which is about 1/2 inch long (1.3 cm) only. The largest frog in America is the Bullfrog. It can grow up to more than 6 inches long.

Frogs are special. They can breathe by means of the lungs and also through their skin. This is because of the way their heart is formed. It has 3 chambers instead of the normal 4.

Where do frogs live ?

Frogs can be found almost anywhere except the Antartica. However, most species are found in tropical regions. More frogs are found in warmer countries. You can find frogs in water or near places that have water like ponds and streams. However, some frogs will never enter the water. They live mainly on land and go to the water only to mate. Then, there are some kinds that live in trees. These frogs have tiny sticky pads on their fingers and toes to help them cling to the tree trunk as they climb. Some frogs are burrowers. Burrower frogs live on land and have short hind legs and cannot hop. Frogs that live in cold winter places, hibernate during this time. They hibernate either in burrows or burried in mud bottom of ponds.

Frogs also have webbed feet for swimming.

Some have suction disks on the tip of their toes to help them climb.

The back feet of the
Spade-Foot toad has a special hard spur to make it easier for burrowing.

Some have large webs to assist them in gliding in the air, almost like flying.
Examples : The Chinese Gliding Tree Frog , Asian Blue-Webbed Gliding Tree Frog

The spines on the males' front feet help them to grip on the female during mating.

How does a frog catch an insect ?

The frog's diet consist mainly of insects, small animals like earthworms, minnows and spiders. Most frogs have a sticky tongue. To catch an insect, the frog flips out its tongue rapidly, get the insect and retracts its tongue. Frogs will swallow their prey in one piece because they only have teeth in the upper jaw. Doesn't do much for chewing ! Frogs hunt mostly at night.

How does the frog protect itself from the enemy ?

The frog has enemies that will eat them. They are bats, heron, fish, racoons, turtles, snakes and even human beings. Human beings eat them and also destroy their natural habitat and prevent them from breeding. Different species of frogs have different kinds of protection. Some have poison glands in their skin, like a chemical warfare tactic !. The skin will secret and cover the body with the poison and this will deter the enemy from eating them. Some use colors to protect themselves. Some will be very brightly colored body (especially red and yellow) to warn enemies that it taste bad or are poisonous, so stay away ! Example of this is the Poison Arrow Frog. The American Native Indians used their poison for their arrows. The Malaysian Leap Frog will show bright colors to confuse its enemy. Others will use their color as camouflage to blend into the environment to hide from their enemies. The Tree-frog does this pretty well. Frogs also have buldging eyes. This is to enable them to have a panoramic view (can view in all directions) and avoid the enemy. Some will try to fool the enemy by puffing themselves up with air to make it look too big to be swallowed. An example is the Tomato frog. Then there is this False-Eyed frog which hunches over to show its two false eye spots at the back. The spots also oozes out foul smelling liquid. The eye spots are to scare the enemy away and if that does not work, it hopes to deter the enemy from eating it by the foul smell. The Leopard Frog will play dead by keeping very still and holding its breathe to avoid being eaten. Some will give out a loud scream to startle the enemy to drop them. Some will urinate as it jumps away to give it a bad taste and also to cover their scent.

Singing Frogs ?

The male frogs are the ones that sing. Different species sing different songs. Males are the ones that have the loud voice. Some females have voices too but they are softer. The males sing (grunts, croaks) to attract the females for mating. Some frogs even have a vocal sac which fills with air and swells up to make the voice even louder, like an amplifier (refer to picture). Some males use their voice as a territorial call to warn other males of the same species that this is their territory.


Before frogs mate, their bodies go through some changes. These changes are caused by chemicals called hormones. They produce sex cells and changes in appearance of the frogs like having brighter colors. The chemical changes are brought on by changes in the environment - warmer weather, more hours of sunlight or more rainfall. Once the male frog attracts a female to mate. it will sit on the female's back and hold onto it - amplex position. As the eggs are released into the water, the male will release sperm over them to fertilize them and then they will leave.

Some species do it in a different way though. The Darwin male frog will keep the eggs in their vocal pouch. The male Midwife toad will wind the eggs around their hind legs and carry them about until they hatch (see picture). Certain tropical frogs will lay their eggs among leaves or holes in trees where there are rain water. Some will attach their eggs under leaves which are hanging over water. When the tadpoles hatch, they fall into the water. Example of this is the Red-Eyed Tree frog. There are some which will lay their eggs on land, under logs and dead leaves. There are even a stranger ones like the Gastric Brooding Frog which give birth to their young via their mouths! The male Surinam toad collects the eggs laid by the female and puts them on her back. Her skin swells up into a pocket-like thing and covers the eggs.

Frogs that live in tropical and semi-tropical regions, breed during the rainy season. This is because tadpoles need water to survive. Others, breed in spring or early summer.

Life Cycle of frogs

The eggs will hatch within 3-25 days depending on the species and water temperature. If it is warmer, it will be faster. Colder temperature will slow down the hatching. Eggs vary in size, color and shape with different species. The eggs are usually covered with s jellylike substance which acts as a protective coating. Even the jelly differs depending on species.

Young frogs are called tadpoles or polliwogs. They do not look like frogs yet. They look more like little fish. They have a tail and have external gills which they breath through. Tadpoles eat plants and decaying animal matter. However, some will egg other frog eggs and even tadpoles. As the tadpole develop, it will first grow the hind legs and then the front legs or arms. The tail slowly retracts and disappears and the frog hops up to the land as an adult.

Not all eggs or tadpoles will make it to the adult stage. There are many threats like ducks, fish, insects and other water creatures that will eat the eggs. When they are tadpoles, they still face danger like being eaten by larger water animals or die when the pond dries up. How fast tadpoles turn into an adult depend on the species and their natural surrounding. It might take a less than 2 weeks or even up to a few months.

Click here to see the Life Cycle of the frog in pictures with description form.

Why are frogs important ?

Frogs are important to human beings. They are a source of food in some countries. They eat insects, some of which are serious pests. We use them for medical research to test for new drugs and students dissect them to learn about anatomy. They are also part of the eco-system which means that whatever happens to them will affect other animals and even us in different ways. We are all connected in the web of life.

MORE FACTS What is the difference between a frog and a toad ?
Anatomy of the frog
Poison Frogs-Jewels of the Rainforest
The Case of the Disappearing Frogs
Teachers can find activities here for children
Interesting Frog Facts
Texas amphibian watch
click on the picture of the frog and listen to the call they make.

Virtual Frog Builder Game
This game tests your knowledge of the 3D spatial relationships between the organs in the frog. The game starts with an image of the nerves in the frog.
Frog Anatomy & Physiology Tutorials
Interesting. Lots of pictures.
Killer Frog fungus
What's killing these amphibians ?
Jurassic frogs
FROG SONGS & POEMS Froggy's catching a fly Song
Original lyrics

There was a frog which swallowed .. song
This song is to be done together with the activity below

Frog Went a Courtin'
Listen to the song in MP3 version

Five Little Speckled Frog
Listen to the song in MP3 version

Frog Songs and Poems
Some familiar ones and some new ones

Songs of the Frogs
Collection of songs related to frogs

To be done with above song.
Life-Cycle of the Frog Worksheet 1
Can be modified according to age - either coloring of writing activity.
Life-Cycle of the Frog Worksheet 2
Illustration of the life-cycle.
Different Species of Frogs & Toads Worksheet
Can be either a coloring activity or naming the species activity
Worksheet - Coloring Activity
Color the picture of frogs in the pond
Frog Alphabet Worksheet
Color the frog alphabet.
5 Green Speckled Frog Number Activity
Print out Page 1
Print out Page 2
Print out Page 3
Print out Page 4
What are these feet used for ?

Cute frog to color
9 different frog pictures to print out to color
NBII - Color a Wyoming Toad

CRAFT ACTIVITIES Frog Sequined Craft
Simple frog craft for young kids
Amphibian bookmark.
Print, cut out, color and paste.
Easy Frog Craft
For young kids. Print out templates.
Make an Origami Jumping Frog
Cliparts, animations, graphics
Lesson Plan Unit on Frogs in pdf format

Measurement and Frogs
Lesson Plans for grades 4-8. Printable in Acrobat Format.
Five Little Frogs
Grade Level/Subjects: K through 2 Math and Music Lesson Plan. You can use this lesson plan together with the 5-Little Speckled frog worksheets
Frogs, Toads and Their Habitat
Grade Level: Primary. What do frogs and toads need to have in their habitat? Lesson plan
Frog Metamorphosis: A Change For the Better
To introduce students to the concept of metamorphosis as practiced by frogs
Frogs: A Thematic Unit Plan Submitted by: Lisa Turturice
For Grade 2. To help children broaden their concepts of living things as they learn more about the metamorphosis and development of frogs.- To help children develop an understanding of the basic needs of animals through the study and care of tadpoles as they develop into adult frogs.
The Leap Frog Activity By Betty Mayberry
Math lesson
Where's The Frogs?
Activity ideas
Story by the Grimm Brothers

The Frog and the Crane
Native American Folklore

The Mouse, the Frog, and the Hawk
Aesop's Fable
Catapult the frog and get points. Download it and play.
Help frogger to cross the busy road safely.
A Rainbow of Frogs
Learning about colors with frogs for young kids.
Java Frog Puzzle
Rearrange the puzzle
Free Game for you to play, download.
Hungry Frog Shockwave Game
Click on a frog to make him eat the bug overhead. Choose from topics. Learning activity
Leap Frog Game
Move all the red frogs to the opposite side.

Click on the house to see our other topics and resources for teachers, kids and parents.

Counter added in on October 9, 1999

IMPORTANT : COPYRIGHT : Please do not use any of the graphics here for your homepage. They are my own drawings unless otherwise stated. If you wish to have frog cliparts for your homepage, please get it from our clipart page. However, they are not for your homepage clipart collection.

DISCLAIMER : This is a disclaimer. We try to gather information that are as accurate as possible. However, if there are mistakes, we will not be held liable for anything. Use it at your own discretion.
IMPORTANT : We are not responsible for any links beyond our site.

The mini frog to link to cliparts is from Froggy Page. The page is linked under cliparts.

Dated: October 9, 1999

Updated on 15, February 2000