Did you know that April is National Frog Month? We celebrate these fascinating amphibians in April partially because of what they symbolize. Frogs are symbols in many different cultures throughout the world, but a vast majority of these symbols have elements of transition at their roots.
I have always been captivated by these amphibians and the variations within each species. Speaking of species, did you know that there are more than 6,000 species of frogs worldwide? Some of my favourites include the wood frog found in North America, the pixie frog or African bullfrog found in Africa, and the hairy frog found in central Africa.
Frogs are an ever-changing species; many have gone extinct in recent years, just as many new species are being discovered. Strangely enough, populations thought to have been totally wiped out upwards of 40 years ago have been found in thriving populations! However, there are still many species with protected status that could really use our help. One such way is as simple as buying Rainforest Alliance certified goods when you are at the grocery store!
Frogs make great pets for those of us who can appreciate an animal that is more of a display piece for an artfully constructed terrarium/paludarium. These terrariums/paludariums should mimic a frog’s natural habitat with minimal intervention from us. There is also such a wide variety of frogs with differing care levels and habitat requirements that there truly is a perfect frog for everyone!
When it comes to the argument of frogs versus toads, there really is no scientific distinction—they both belong to the Anura order but are found in different families. There are, however, different traits that define true toads from frogs. For example, toads do not have teeth, whereas frogs do; and frogs have smooth skin with a slime coat, whereas toads have rougher, drier skin.
Frogs are fascinating! So why not take some time this month to learn more about some of these cool amphibians. If you have kids, get them involved with some frog-themed arts and crafts. Or, if frogs are becoming active where you live, go see if you can find some to observe in the wild!