There are few animals as adorable as a baby frog. These tiny amphibians are amazing creatures with many interesting things to learn about them. Did you know that some froglets develop and hatch from within their mothers’ stomachs?
Let’s “hop” right into five amazingly cool facts about baby frogs!
#1: A Baby Frog is Called a Tadpole!
Chances are, you probably already knew newborn frogs are called tadpoles. During this stage of a frog’s life, they don’t have legs. Consequently, they spend their days swimming around and eating to gain weight. An older baby frog is called a froglet. It is during this stage that they look like mini versions of their adult parents!
#2: Ecologists Found a Seriously Huge Tadpole!
Typically, baby frog tadpoles are tiny creatures. For instance, the average tadpole measures about one to four inches long. In the Chiricahua Mountains in Arizona, ecologists discovered a record-breakingly large bullfrog tadpole after emptying a man-made pond.
Once the pond was completely drained, ecologists surveyed the bottom of the pond. What they found there was astounding – a 10-inch long bullfrog tadpole! This gigantic pollywog greatly outweighed the previous record holder, which only measured 2.5 inches.
Although most bullfrogs stay in the tadpole stage for anywhere from two to three years, scientists can’t determine the age of this huge tadpole. Ecologists concluded that the tadpole was about as long as a banana and wider than a soda can. Researchers say this giant tadpole will likely never get his legs or transform into a bullfrog.
Today, the gigantic tadpole lives in an algae-rich aquarium at the Southwest Research Station.
#3: Gastric-brooding Frogs Have Stomachs for Wombs
Most amphibians lay their jelly-filled eggs in the water and tend to them until they are ready to hatch. However, Gastric-brooding frogs take a different approach. After laying their fertilized eggs, these unique frogs ingest them, where the eggs incubate in the female’s stomach.
Baby Gastric-brooding frogs remain in their mothers’ stomachs for six to seven weeks. Then, they hatch inside their mother’s stomach. Then, the adult female frog regurgitates them. Consequently, Gastric-brooding frogs are among the only species that have “live” births.
Unfortunately, this species of frog is believed to be extinct. They were last spotted in the wild in the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, scientists are attempting to revive them by cloning a new baby frog from a frozen sample. Although their efforts have been unsuccessful so far, they have confirmed that their technique, rather than the frog’s DNA, is at fault.
#4: The Brazilian Gold Baby Frog is Incredibly Tiny
When it comes to baby animals, there’s no doubt that the smaller they are, the cuter they appear. The Brazilian Gold Frog is among the smallest frogs in the animal kingdom. But what about their babies?
Brazilian Gold froglets are seriously tiny. They measure less than a centimeter long and comfortably fit on the face of an American dime. They have three toes on each of their hind legs and two toes on their front ones. This is another thing that makes them unique, as most baby frogs have five digits on each hand and foot.
Brazilian Gold froglets live in high altitudes on the tops of mountains. Consequently, they have adapted to the low temperatures and high humidities of their habitat. Scientists say that there are 16 different species of these frogs known in the world today.
#5: Golden Poison Froglets are Deadly
Did you know that baby poison frogs are some of the most dangerous of all amphibians? It’s true! Among this group, Golden Poison froglets are among the deadliest. In fact, they are considered one of the most toxic animals on Earth.
Even though these frogs are tiny, they are mighty. A baby frog will grow to be just two inches long and weigh less than one ounce. However, scientists say their tiny bodies contain enough venom to kill ten grown men. By comparison, the same amount of venom could kill up to 20,000 mice.
Indigenous people that share habitats with these frogs have been using their potent venom for years. The Colombian Emberá regularly dip the points of their blowgun darts in the toxin while hunting. It is for this reason that these deadly amphibians are sometimes called poison dart frogs.
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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is a baby frog called?
A baby frog goes by many different names, depending on its stage of life. Newborn frogs swim in the water and are called tadpoles or polliwogs. When they are freshly transformed into baby frogs, they are called froglets.
How much do baby frogs weigh?
The weight of a baby frog depends on its species. Some of the smallest froglets weigh .0003 ounces. On the other hand, the largest frogs can grow to be up to seven pounds or more!
What do baby frogs eat?
Tadpoles spend much of their time eating to gain weight and transform into a froglet. They learn to eat by scraping against aquatic plants and one of their favorite foods is algae. Froglets, on the other hand, enjoy a more plentiful diet. They enjoy small insects such as ants, fruit flies, mosquitoes, and other small insects.
Where do baby frogs live?
Baby frogs are amphibians, which means they live in wet areas, such as along river banks. They also love areas around streams, ponds, and wetlands. They can even make seasonal pools home!
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