NORTHERN LEOPARD FROG

Frogs have large heads and bulging eyes with wide, usually toothless mouths. They have long, muscular back legs and smaller front legs, most lack tails. Frogs have excellent hearing and are very vocal. Their calls are used mostly during breeding season. Eggs are laid in water, then hatched into round-bodied tadpoles with external gills and tails. As they transform to adults, skin covers the gills, they lose the tail, and develop air-breathing lungs. They must keep wet because they get oxygen through their skin when it is moist. They also do not drink water, they absorb it through their skin. Frogs shed their skin regularly to keep it healthy, some shed weekly, while others shed daily. They are carnivores, smaller frogs eat flies, mosquitoes, moths and dragonflies, while larger frogs will eat grasshoppers and worms. They can extend their long tongues for capturing insects.

GREEN SPOTTED FROG
I found this NORTHERN LEOPARD FROG in northern Minnesota.

The northern leopard frog has green skin with large dark brown oval spots with thin yellow edges. The colors of greens and browns can vary. They have raised yellow ridges along their back, flanks and along the upper jaw. They live in various habitats including freshwater areas with abundant vegetation, marshes, rivers, deserts, or mountain meadows. They are primarily nocturnal. When pursued on land, they flee in a zig zag pattern to water for safety. The population of the northern leopard frog started to decline in the 1970’s. The cause of this decline is unknown, but habitat loss, environmental contaminants, disease, introduced fish, and drought have been suggested as reasons for the drop in numbers and have prevented recovery in many areas.

The difference between a frog and a toad…Frogs and toads are both amphibians and they CAN look similar. Frogs generally have slender bodies, while a toad looks wider and more stout. Frogs usually have moist slimy skin, while toads have dry bumpy skin. Frogs eggs are found in a mass, while toad eggs are in a chain. Frogs can generally be found near water, while toads in gardens and yards.  Toads are actually a species of frog. You CANNOT get warts from a frog or toad!

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