Why think of frogs on this leap year's 366th day? These slimy creatures can perform astounding acts of nature. They're also in deep water – about a third of the world's amphibians are leaping toward extinction. If that's not reason enough, then consider they may be able to help you find a mate.
Top Ten Things You Might Not Know About Frogs
- The world's largest frog lives up to its name. The Goliath of West Africa grows almost a foot in length, weighs up to 7 pounds, and can easily clear 10 feet in a single hop.
- Frogs can kill us. The toxin in a single toxic poison dart frog could wipe out 90 humans.
- Ladies, can't decide on a guy? A female gray treefrog picks her mate from the pool of water with the fewest predators.
- The male gladiator frogs of Latin America use spikes on their forearms to mortally wound other competitors during courtship rituals. (Gentlemen, don't try this at home!)
- Toads use their eyeballs to help swallow their prey.
VIDEO: Our experts Robin Moore and Don Church chat about their love of frogs and amphibians.
- Certain frogs in deserts "down under" store water in their bladder and pockets of skin. Their "pee" is an important source of hydration for aborigines crossing the arid outback.
- In California, due to the popularity of "toad licking," it's illegal to possess Colorado River Toads, which produce a powerful hallucinogen called bufotoxin.
- Thanks to chemicals that act as an internal "antifreeze," wood frogs can freeze solid and hop away after thawing out.
- Call them superfrogs. Southeast Asia's gliding frogs "hang-glide" from tree to tree using extensive webbing between their toes.
- Talk about incredible births. The Gastric Brooding Frog from Australia, believed to be extinct, incubates tadpoles inside their tummies until they're fully developed. Baby frogs then come hopping out of the mouth.
Now that you've learned some interesting facts about frogs and toads, dig deeper with CI's Amphibian Quiz and take action to aid these small but important creatures. You can also keep tabs on all the latest amphibian news with the Amphibian Specialist Group.