Tree frogs are some of the world’s most beautiful amphibians. With their abstract patterns, big eyes, and bright colors, what’s not to love? About 30 species of tree frog live in the continental U.S., while over 600 other kinds reside in South and Central America. Tree frogs are difficult to spot during the day, but in case you get lucky, here are some facts about this incredible species.
1. Not all tree frogs live in trees.
Though most tree frogs live their lives in trees, not all of them live or go near trees. Some species prefer lakes or ponds. What unites the tree frog is the shape of the last bone in their toes. It looks like a claw.
2. Most tree frogs are only 4-5 inches long.
Tree frogs are tiny, so small that leaves and small branches can easily support their weight. Some of the smallest species of tree frogs are only 2.5 centimeters. Their small size makes it easy for them to camouflage until nighttime when it is safe for them to hunt for insects.
3. Male tree frogs use special calls to attract mates.
Female frogs listen for the male frog’s call and go to whichever one attracts them the most. The classic “ribbit” noise that comes to mind when you think of frogs is made by the Baja California tree frog.
4. Some tree frogs hatch as mini-adults.
While frogs most commonly hatch from eggs as tadpoles, some emerge beyond the tadpole stage as small adults.
5. Tree frogs breathe through their skin.
Tree frogs breathe through their skin, which has, unfortunately, made them one of the most at-risk animal groups. They are incredibly sensitive to climate change and pollution.
6. Some tree frogs have poisonous skin.
You may have heard of the Poison Dart frog. Well, its name is correct. The poison excreted from their skin can cause some serious damage.
7. Tree frogs use their eyes to help eat.
It sounds a bit strange, but tree frogs can push down food using their eyes. While they can eat and swallow normally, they also can retract their eyes into their throat to push an insect down into their stomach.
With over 800 species of tree frogs, from the flying frog to one that looks exactly like Kermit, there’s a lot to be fascinated by. But these incredible animals are suffering the effects of climate change and deforestation. Please do your part to learn all you can, and help them survive.