Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Amphibians » True Frogs: Ranidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Micro Frog (microbatrachella Capensis): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, TRUE FROGS AND PEOPLE

True Frogs: Ranidae - Physical Characteristics

species eye family hind

With nearly seven hundred species, the true frog family is very large. As in other big families, the true frogs come in many shapes and sizes, but they do have a few common features. All have teeth along the top of the mouth. Most of them have at least some webbing between the toes of the hind feet, and some have webbing all the way to the tips of the hind toes. In many species, the females are larger than the males, but the males have longer hind legs and more webbing between their rear toes. The males typically also have thicker front legs, which they use to hold onto the females during mating.

Most true frogs are shades of greens or browns and blend in well with their surroundings. Those that live in the water, such as Roesel's green frog and Indian tiger frog, are commonly green to olive green in color, which matches well with their homes. Often, species that live in forests, like the wood frog and Beddome's Indian frog, are tan or brown like the dead leaves that cover the forest floor. Most true frogs have rather stocky bodies. The African bullfrog is especially pudgy-looking. Some, like the leopard frog and pickerel frog, have more slender bodies. Many members of this family have long and strong hind legs for leaping. This includes the leopard, pickerel, and green frogs that are found in North America, as well as many others. Some, like the large African bullfrog, have shorter hind legs.

Many of the frogs in this family have a dark, horizontal bar through the center of each eye. Some also have a dark, vertical bar through the eye. In addition, many have a noticeable eardrum on each side of the head behind the eye. In a few species, like the green frog, the size of the eardrum can help tell a male from a female. In this species, the male's eardrum is much larger than the eye, while the female's is about the same size or smaller than the eye.

Many true frogs are between 1.6 and 3.3 inches (4.1 to 8.4 centimeters) long from the tip of the snout to the end of the rump. The smallest frogs in this family, however, are 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) long. These include several tiny African species. The largest members of this family, including the goliath frog, can reach more than 12.2 inches (31 centimeters) long.


True Frogs: Ranidae - Diet [next]

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over 6 years ago

powerful back leg