Frogs


The frog is an amphibian in the order Anura (meaning "tail-less" from Greek an-, without + oura, tail), formerly referred to as Salientia (Latin saltare, to jump). Adult frogs are characterised by long hind legs, a short body, webbed digits, protruding eyes and the absence of a tail. Most frogs have a semi-aquatic lifestyle, but move easily on land by jumping or climbing. They typically lay their eggs in puddles, ponds or lakes; and their larvae, called tadpoles, have gills and develop in water. Adult frogs follow a carnivorous diet, mostly of arthropods, annelids and gastropods. Frogs are most noticeable by their call, which can be widely heard during the night or day, mainly in their mating season.

The distribution of frogs ranges from tropic to subarctic regions, but most species are found in tropical rainforests. Consisting of more than 5,000 species described, they are among the most diverse groups of vertebrates. However, populations of certain frog species are significantly declining.

A distinction is often made between frogs and toads on the basis of their appearance, caused by the convergent adaptation among so-called toads to dry environments; however, this distinction has no taxonomic basis. The only family exclusively given the common name "toad" is Bufonidae, but many species from other families are also called "toads," and the species within the toad genus Atelopus are referred to as "harlequin frogs."

Frogs Wikipedia




In the News ...


"Fantastic" New Flying Frog Found - Has Flappy Forearms   National Geographic - January 15, 2013

Scientists have stumbled across a new species of flying frog - on the ground. While hiking a lowland forest in 2009, not far from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, "we came across a huge green frog, sitting on a log," said Jodi Rowley, an amphibian biologist at the Australian Museum in Sydney and lead author of a new study on the frog. Rowley later discovered that the 3.5-inch-long (9-centimeter-long) creature is a relatively large new type of flying frog, a group known for its ability to "parachute" from tree to tree thanks to special aerodynamic adaptations, such as webbed feet.

Pictures: Pea-Size Frog Found - Among World's Smallest   National Geographic - August 25, 2010
A newfound, pea-size frog, Microhyla nepenthicola, sits on the tip of a pencil. One of the smallest frogs in the world, the species was spotted inside and around pitcher plants in Malaysian rain forests on the island of Borneo (map), which is divided among Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Frogs Evolution Tracks Rise of Himalayas and Rearrangement of Southeast Asia   Science Daily - August 7, 2010
The evolution of a group of muscled frogs scattered throughout Asia is telling geologists about the sequence of events that led to the rise of the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau starting more than 55 million years ago.

Bizarre Frogs Rafted Atop Ancient Continents   Live Science - August 6, 2010
Between 15 million and 55 million years ago, India and Asia collided, starting a series of geological events that raised the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau. Now, a group of well-muscled frogs is revealing how the continents moved.

How Do Salamanders Grow a New Leg? Protein Mechanisms Behind Limb Regeneration   Science Daily - December 16, 2009
The most comprehensive study to date of the proteins in a species of salamander that can regrow appendages may provide important clues to how similar regeneration could be induced in humans.

Frog Dozes in Mud for Years   Live Science - June 29, 2009
One species of burrowing frogs can survive for years buried in mud without food and water. New research has figured out how the frog and other "super-sleeper" animals do it. Many species of animals go through a period of torpor to conserve energy when resources are scarce. The champion in energy-saving mode is the burrowing frog (Cyclorana alboguttata). A team of scientists at the University of Queensland discovered that the metabolism of these frogs' cells changes radically during the dormancy period allowing maximized use of limited energy resources without ever running on empty.

Obesity Clues From Research On How Burrowing Frogs Survive Years Without Food   PhysOrg - June 29, 2009
Many species of animals go through a period of torpor to conserve energy when resources are scarce. But when it comes to switching to energy-saving mode, the champion by far among vertebrates is the burrowing frog (Cyclorana alboguttata), which can survive for several years buried in the mud in the absence of any food or water.

See-Through Frogs Discovered   Live Science - February 3, 2009
Ten newfound species of amphibians — including a frog with spiky skin and three varieties of frogs with transparent skin - have been discovered in the mountains of Colombia. The new species were found on a recent expedition led by herpetologists from Conservation International and ornithologists from the Ecotropico Foundation in Colombia's mountainous Tacarcuna area of the Darien, near the border with Panama. Over a period of three weeks, the scientists identified approximately 60 species of amphibians, 20 reptiles and almost 120 species of birds, many of them apparently found nowhere else in the world.

First Lungless Frog Found National Geographic - April 8, 2008
The first recorded species of frog that breathes without lungs has been found in a clear, cold-water stream on the island of Borneo in Indonesia. The frog, named Barbourula kalimantanensis, gets all its oxygen through its skin.

Colorful Harlequin Frog Discovered National Geographic - March 13, 2008

With such flashy looks, this aptly named harlequin frog seems like it would be easy to spot. But scientists hadn't seen one of its kind for 14 years, until it was "rediscovered" last month in the mountain forests of Colombia. The rare find - technically known as a Carrikeri harlequin frog - is some welcome good news for South America's amphibian species, which have been disappearing at an alarming rate, experts say.But for other amphibians in the region including dozens of other harlequin frog species the prospects remain grim, said Luis Rueda, a biologist with the nonprofit Conservation Leadership Program who led the expedition that made the find.

Mini Frogs Born, Odd Star Spotted National Geographic - December 8, 2007

Four baby "froglets" hopped into the world on November 20, 2007, the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo has announced. These Solomon Island leaf frogs are among the few frog or amphibian species to skip the tadpole phase and emerge as mini-adults

New Species Of Frog Discovered: Smallest Indian Land Vertebrate Science Daily - October 3, 2007
The India’s smallest land vertebrate, a 10-millimeter frog, has been discovered from the Western Ghats of Kerala by Delhi University Systematics Biologist, S D Biju and his colleagues.

Poisonous 'Golden Frog' Discovered on Columbia Live Science - August 28, 2007

"Monster" Toxic Toad Caught in Australia National Geographic - March 27, 2007

Puzzle over three-headed frog BBC - March 2004

Purple Frogs BBC - October 2003




The Frogs

The Frogs is a comedy written by the Ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes. It was performed at the Lenaea, one of the Festivals of Dionysus, in 405 BC. It tells the story of the god Dionysus, despairing of the state of Athens' tragedians, and allegedly recovering from the disastrous Battle of Arginusae. He travels to Hades to bring Euripides back from the dead. He brings along his slave Xanthias, who is smarter, stronger, more rational, more prudent, braver, and more polite than Dionysus. To engage the audience, their first scene consists of a series of base jokes and potty humor in which Xanthias subtly one-ups Dionysus with each line.




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