Wisconsin Sea Grant Frogs: Answers to Frog Fact or Fiction Quiz
1: "All frogs can jump long distances." Fiction
It's true that many frogs can jump with astonishing speed and power. Their strong back legs launch them forward and their short front legs act as shock absorbers as they come in for a landing.
The best jumper, the southern cricket frog, can leap 36 times its body length in a single hop! However, some frogs cannot leap at all, and instead walk on the ground or climb in trees.
Well, it's not exactly flying, but certain tree frogs in South America and Asia do get airborne. When a flying frog leaps between tree branches, it glides down gently with its toes outspread. The webbing between the toes catches the air and the frog sails as if carried by a parachute. The "flight" can cover more than 50 feet!
Frogs come in a wide range of sizes and a rainbow of colors. The goliath frog of West Africa is the size of a small dog, measuring about 15 inches from nose to rump. On the other end of the scale is Pyllophryne didactyla, the world's smallest frog, which is found in Brazil. This little frog is about the size of a firefly and could sit easily on top of a pencil eraser.
Many species of frogs produce a toxic, mucous-like substance on the surface of their skin. A predator that tastes this poison will spit out the frog, avoiding what would have been a bad tasting and dangerous meal.
Some frogs from Central and South America are so toxic that handling them could be instantly fatal if their poison were to enter the bloodstream through even a minor scratch on the hand. The Choco Indians of Colombia use this toxin on the tips of poison darts they use for hunting.
You may have heard this before, but it's just not true. A toad's skin may be bumpy and warty-looking, but if you touch a toad, you will not get warts!
A frog's skin is not waterproof! In fact, frogs can absorb both oxygen and water through their skin. This quality makes frogs particularly vulnerable to pollutants in the air or water - they suffer from pollution even when they don't eat or drink it through their mouths.
copyright 2001 University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute