Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide (The Animal Answer Guides: Q&A for the Curious Naturalist)

Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide (The Animal Answer Guides: Q&A for the Curious Naturalist)

Language: English

Pages: 192

ISBN: 0801899362

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Frogs are amazingly diverse―ranging from the massive goliath frog, which weighs several pounds, to the recently discovered gold frog, which measures a mere three-eighths of an inch when fully grown―and have inhabited the earth for more than 200 million years. Today, however, these amphibians face more challenges than any other vertebrate group. In this fun and informative book, herpetologists Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons answer common and not-so-common questions people may have about these fascinating animals.

Dorcas and Gibbons discuss how frogs evolved, which species currently exist in the world, and why some have recently gone extinct. They reveal what frogs eat and what eats them, their role in cultures across the globe, why many populations are declining and what we can do to reverse this dangerous trend, why there are deformed frogs, and much more. They answer expected questions such as "What is the difference between a frog and a toad?" and "Why do some people lick toads?" and unexpected ones such as "Why do some frogs lay their eggs in the leaves of trees?" and "Do frogs feel pain?"

The authors’ easy-to-understand yet thorough explanations provide insight into the amazing biology of this amphibian group. In addressing conservation questions, Dorcas and Gibbons highlight the frightening implications of the current worldwide amphibian crisis, which many scientists predict will bring extinction rates experienced by frog species to levels not seen in any vertebrate animal group in millions of years.

Packed with facts and featuring two color galleries and 70 black-and-white photographs, Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide is sure to address the questions on the minds of curious naturalists.

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tail.” Scientists often refer to frogs and toads, collectively, as anurans. In addition to lacking a tail, most frogs and toads have long hind limbs modified for jumping or, at least, hopping. Frogs and toads are well known for their reproductive behavior, which, for most species, includes loudly calling at certain times of the year to attract mates. Listening to frogs calling around a wetland or swamp is a relaxing pastime. Most frogs and toads also lay eggs, and many species, including those

legs for jumping. Courtesy John D. Willson The third major group of amphibians is the caecilians. Caecilians are blind, limbless, worm-like amphibians that live primarily in tropical regions. They are placed in the order Gymnophiona (sometimes called the Apoda, or Caecilia). Some caecilians are aquatic and resemble eels because flattened parts of their body form fins. Caecilians have rings, or annuli, that encircle their body along their entire length and deeply embedded scales within these

several species of rare frogs, some of which may be extinct in the wild. The research programs investigate aspects of the life history, ecology, and reproduction of some species to determine whether they can be raised successfully in captivity. Courtesy Dante Fenolio Because many frogs and toads call at somewhat predictable times, several research approaches take advantage of the distinctive calls of different species to locate individuals or choruses at night. Organized calling surveys in which

others. This technique must be used with caution on some species so that toes critical to the frog’s survival are not removed. For example, removing too many toes from a treefrog would likely diminish its ability to climb and threaten its survival. Another less-invasive marking technique is using fluorescent-colored elastomers, which are injected as a liquid under the frog’s transparent skin. The elastomer hardens to the consistency of silicone and forms a marker visible under fluorescent light.

the water, and its strong legs and large webbed feet can then be used to propel the frog rapidly underwater. The long legs of treefrogs are used for reaching out to grasp the next leaf or tree branch. Are frogs slimy? Most frogs have moist skin, and frogs closely associated with aquatic habitats typically have slimier skin than those found on land in drier areas. Some frogs produce mucus that makes them difficult to hold, which allows them to escape from some predators. All tadpoles are

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