Posted on Jun 26, 2012 in Animals & pets
What’s the difference between a frog and a toad? They’re both kind of funny-looking roundish things with buggy eyes that jump.
At first glance, frogs and toads look pretty similar. Not surprising, since they belong to the same order — Anura — which most experts simply refer to as “frogs.” So while one can say that a toad is a frog, one can’t necessarily say a frog is a toad. Clear as mud yet?
Okay. With a little help from Hamline University’s Center for Global Environmental Education, let’s break down the differences.
Frogs have skin that is smooth and/or slimy to the touch. They have strong, long hind legs — where their renowned jumping ability comes from — along with webbed hind feet to help them swim. Frogs generally will not stray far from water or moist/damp areas they call home. They have large, bulging eyes and lay their eggs in clusters.
A toad will have rough, “warty,” dry skin — no, you can’t get warts from touching a toad, that’s an old wives tale. They have stubby bodies with short hind legs, and non-webbed feet. While toads can handle dry conditions and can be away from water longer than frogs, they still will need to return to a moist area after a while. Unlike frogs, toads tend to lay their eggs in long chains, not clusters.
And finally, a useful tip if you ever have to describe a mass gathering of either — a group of frogs is referred to as an “army of frogs,” whereas it would be called a “knot of toads.”
Cute little frog and toad photos from the USGS. Kermit the Frog photo courtesy Jim Henson Company/Sesame Workshop.
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