"Frogs" Order Anura
- Frogs are amphibians that have no tail, two shorter front limbs and two very long hind limbs.
- This body plan facilitates jumping very effectively and this design has obviously been successful as it has changed little over many millions of years.
- Frogs are often found in a peculiar, typical posture with their limbs tucked tightly into their body. This is known as a moisture conserving posture and by reducing exposed surface areas cuts down on water loss.
- Like other amphibians, they are capable of breathing through their skin. To be able to respire like this requires that the skin stay relatively moist. This permeability also means that amphibians can `drink' through their skin, and in fact apart from only one species, frogs are not known to actually drink water.
- The permeable skin can even extract moisture from seemingly dry substrates such as sand. But because of this permeable skin, frogs need a moist environment and are very sensitive to environmental conditions.
- Most species also need standing water to breed. Therefore, only certain species will survive in gardens, and only those gardens that are sufficiently 'frog friendly'. However, when conditions are right, frogs can do very well, and indeed some people think they do rather too well, when on warm rainy nights their calls drown out every other noise.
- Nevertheless, they are welcome inhabitants of the garden, as they will feed on many insect pests and in turn act as prey for larger animal visitors.
Script: Courtesy of Damon Ramsey BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide