To the average person, frogs and toads are very similar. People often mix them up. They come out in the spring after hibernating for the winter, and they start mating. Both amphibians look very similar, but there are actually quite a few differences between the two.
While both frogs and toads belong to the order Anura, Ranidae are the family that includes frogs, while Bufonidae are the family of true toads. Frogs have long hind legs for leaping, while toads have shorter hind legs for walking. Frogs have big eyes that bulge, while toads have more subtle eyes. The biggest difference is their skin; frogs have moist slimy skin, and toads have thick, bumpy, dry skin.
There are many other differences that are worth exploring. Continue reading to learn all about the difference between frogs and toads.
How Are Frogs and Toads Different?
In addition to the differences listed above, one important fact is that all toads are frogs because toad is a classification of frog. They both belong to the order Anura. This word means “without a tail.” One of the most important differences is that all toads are poisonous, but frogs are not. The toads are able to secrete toxins from parotoid glands that are right behind their eyes. If you pick a toad up, you will get the toxins on you. You need to wash your hands if you hold a toad.
While both of these amphibians lay their eggs in water, the arrangement of the eggs is different. Toad eggs are formed in a chain, and frog eggs are in a cluster. Once you spend some time with frogs and toads, you will start to see the differences.
How Are Frogs and Toads Similar?
Frogs and toads are both in the same order, which is Anura. Neither of them has a tail, and they both lay their eggs in water. They are both signs of a healthy ecosystem because they are not able to live in a habitat that has pollution. They are both sensitive to any changes in their habitat, so if they suddenly aren’t around, it is an indicator of pollution or another issue.
Both of these creatures live all over the world. However, frogs do not live in Antarctica. Toads live everywhere except Madagascar, Polynesia, Australia, and the polar regions.
How Can You Tell Whether You See a Frog or a Toad?
If you see one of these critters, you might want to know how to tell which one it is. First, look at the skin. Frogs are smooth and moist, and toads are bumpy with dry skin. You should also consider where you see it. If you see it walking along through the grass, it is probably a toad. Frogs are not often far away from the water because they need to keep their skin moist.
Next, look at the hind legs. Frog legs are usually longer than their head and body combined, while toads have short, stumpy legs that are better for walking. Frogs have an athletic shape, and toads are kind of fat and squatty. If you look at the face, frogs have a pointy nose, while toads have more of a square shape.
If you see eggs or tadpoles, it is a little bit harder to tell the difference. However, toads lay their eggs in a chain, while frogs are in more of a cluster. Both will be in the water. Tadpoles from frogs are thin and toad tadpoles are rounder. The toad tadpoles are black, and frog tadpoles will have gold flakes on them.
In this video, from the Snake Discovery, Emily goes over the main differences between frogs and toads while holding a toad and a frog live. Very informative and entertaining video –don’t miss the bloopers at the end of the video!
Are There Other Types of Frogs and Toads?
Other frogs look different from the standard frogs listed above. Sedge frogs are a special kind of frog that has adhesive toe disks that help them climb. There are also flying frogs that belong to the Rhacophoridae family, and they can glide as much as 40 or 50 feet through the air. Tree frogs are also a bit different, and they live up in trees.
Toads also have some other creatures. There are around 30 genus of toads that are not “true toads” of the Bufonidae family. In fact, one of the other types of toads gives birth to live offspring.
The bottom line is that the differences between frogs and toads refer to true frogs and true toads, but there are other amphibians that are frogs or toads that have other characteristics.
Fun Facts About Frogs and Toads
There are several interesting facts about frogs. First of all, a group of frogs is called an army. This is because they get together during breeding season to look for food. This helps them stay safe while they are traveling. A group of toads is called a knot.
Another interesting fact is that frogs drink water through their skin. They have a drinking patch on the belly and thighs, and they absorb water through their skin.
Toads can play dead when they feel threatened. They also might buff up and try to look bigger than they are. They also have no teeth, so they swallow their food whole. They usually live three to five years, but the oldest toad on record lived to be 39.
The largest species of frog is called the Goliath Frog. It lives in western Africa, and it can be as big as a foot long and weigh as much as seven pounds. The smallest frog is less than a half-inch long.
When you look at the frog’s eyes, they are on top of its head. The nose is also on top of the head. Their eyes are able to see in all directions, and when they eat, they pull their eyes down to the roof of the mouth to push food down and swallow it. Frogs eat bugs, slugs, larvae, spiders, worms, and even small fish.
Specific differences help you distinguish between frogs and toads. Once you examine them, true frogs and true toads are not difficult to tell apart. However, there are other types of frogs and toads that have unique characteristics.