By Rachel Monaghan.
The 20th of March 2021 is World Frog Day! Frogs have been quite a popular animal in pop culture over the years with examples like Kermit the Frog and the song Crazy Frog being very popular in the mainstream. However, the purpose of World Frog Day is to raise awareness of how important frogs are in the wild and just how interesting they are as a species in general.
As well as being important in the pop culture ecosystem, they are also important in nature’s ecosystem. Frogs are known as a keystone species which means they keep the ecosystem in balance by eating a wide variety of insects and small animals and there is evidence to suggest that frogs have roamed the earth for more than 200 million years, which means they were hopping around at the same time as the dinosaurs!
Did you know?
There are over 5000 frog species in the world which are all members of a very diverse group of short-bodied, tailless amphibians that all come in different shapes and sizes.
The world’s smallest frog is a miniscule 7.7 millimetres long which makes it small enough to fit on your nail on your thumb and its brain is so small that it could sit on the top of a pin!
The largest frog on the other hand is the goliath frog which is a massive 12.5 inches long and can weigh up to 7 pounds which is the same weight as some human babies!
As well as being big and heavy, frogs can also be very loud with some frog calls being able to be heard a mile away! Each frog’s call is unique to its species. Another amazing ability that frogs have is the ability to absorb water through their skin so that they do not have to drink!
The golden dart frog is the most poisonous frog on earth and the skin of one frog could kill up to 1,000 people. This frog’s toxin is created from their diet.
Many of the most brightly colored tropical frogs are colored in this way to warn predators that they are poisonous. This is called aposematism.
High Risk of Extinction
A 2019 report from the United Nations found that between 500,000 and 1 million plant and animals species face imminent extinction. At least 10% of insect species and more than 33% of all marine mammals and reef-forming coral are threatened, it found.
But one group is expected to suffer most of all: Amphibians. An estimated 40% of amphibian species face extinction, according to the UN report. A study published in the journal Current Biology estimated that at least 2,000 amphibian species are in danger of extinction.
As you can see from the amazing facts, frogs really are such a diversified group. They have an almost worldwide distribution and live in many different habitats from rainforests to deserts.
We hope you enjoy learning about these fascinating creatures on World Frog Day and hopefully we are able to keep their natural habitat safe!
Hop to it!