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Frog Facts: Answers to Questions from FrogWatchers
Q: Why are frogs so gross and slimy?
A: Frogs are not slimy. They do not produce slime. Frog skin is dry, unless it
Remember, beauty is in the eye of beholder. The more you learn about a creature, the more interesting it becomes, and the more beautiful it becomes. We are afraid of things we know little about.
Q: What is a frog's body temperature?
A: Frogs do not have a single "normal" body temperature. Like all amphibians, frogs are "poikilotherms" — meaning they are unable to precisely self-regulate their body temperature. They cannot create their own body heat and are dependent on environmental temperature.
Frogs have temperature tolerance boundaries — meaning they can survive between a mininum and maximum temperature. This varies on the species. A frog species from Canada can survive at much lower temperatures than a tropical frog while a tropical frog can survive at much higher temperatures than a Canadian species.
Having said that, some frogs have specific adaptations to allow them some control over their temperature (for example some species can survive partial freezing), and behaviours to allow them to escape temperature extremes (for example they will look for shade, sit on warm rocks).
Q: Do you know of a frog or toad that burrows in the ground but leaves a perfect, round hole? This is in eastern Manitoba and the soil is sandy.
A: In eastern Manitoba the only frog/toad that burrows into the soil is the American toad (Bufo americanus) or Canadian Toad (Bufo hemiophrys). They burrow into soils to avoid dry conditions, and in winter burrow beneath the frost line. When emerging they can leave a distinct hole in the soil. Note the Canadian Toad is not found in extreme southeastern Manitoba beyond the Red River Plains — the American Toad is the toad species in the woodlands of southeastern Manitoba. There is an overlap/intergrade zone at the edge of the wooded land.
Also, note that other species of frogs in the area also burrow into the upper soil litter and top soil horizon to overwinter — wood frog, boreal chorus frog, gray tree frog, and spring peeper. They might also leave a small hole upon exiting but it is more likely a toad was responsible for the hole.
A: In the winter, frogs find refuge in the leaf litter (e.g. gray treefrogs), in the mud at the bottom of lakes (e.g.bullfrogs and leopard frogs), in the debris at the bottom of lakes (green frogs) or in burrows under rocks and logs beneath the soil (e.g. wood frogs).
Q: How long do frogs live?
A: Frogs live for a varying length of time, at least 3-5 years depending on the species. In captivity though, the American toad has been known to live for up to 35 years!
Q: What do frogs do in the winter? I always thought that they went into a type of hibernation, but then realized that they bury themselves in the mud in the fall, so how do they breathe
A: Toads hibernate generally by burrowing intro the ground, whereas frogs ususally hibernate in the mud. In the fall, their respiration and circulation gradually lessen and they become more lethargic.
Amphibians breathe through both their skin and their lungs. When they bury themselves in the mud under a pond, their skin is able to obtain enough oxygen in their lethargic state to keep them alive until temperatures warm up again in the spring.