How far can a frog jump?

This morning at the library I found a recently published book called FROGS: The Animal Answer Guide by herpetologists Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011). The book is structured in the form of questions and answers, helping readers gain insight into amphibians and raising awareness about the importance of frogs and toads in our natural world.

FROGS: The Animal Answer Guide by Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons

Here are some questions posed in the book:

Do frogs sleep?

What color are a frog’s eyes?

How do some frogs stick to walls?

Why should people care for frogs?

What roles do frogs play in native cultures?

Do frogs have teeth?

The answers are easy to read and non-technical. While the book wasn’t shelved in the children’s room, it would be fine for kids ages 10 and up.

So here’s one question from the book:

How far can a frog jump?

Many frogs can jump at least 30 times their body length, and some smaller species of tree frogs can jump 50 times their length. This is the human equivalent of jumping the length of a football field without a running start. Some frogs in the genus Rhacophorus, flying or gliding frogs of Asia, can go even longer distances. These frogs have webbed toes that they use as parachutes to slow their fall and glide from one tree to the next, or to the ground. Jumping helps frogs avoid predators; the skeletons of some species are modified to absorb the shock when they land. Not all frogs are long jumpers. The narrowmouth toads of the southeast and or the Mexican burrowing toad can only hop a few inches.


A Froggy Birthday

I celebrated my birthday this past week, and my husband John gave me a frog book, wrapped in frog paper, with, of course, a frog birthday card (featuring a red-eyed tree frog).

Anyway, I love the book he gave me: Frogs and Toads of North America: A Comprehensive Guide to their Identification, Behavior, and Calls by Lang Elliott, Carlos Davidson, and Carl Gerhardt. Each page spread features one type of frog: on the left is all the information about the frog, on the right side is a full-page photo of the frog. This book is packed with the natural history of frogs and toads, including information about their range and habitat, descriptions of behaviors, and tips for finding, observing, and identifying frogs and toads.

So as you take pictures for the FROGS ARE GREEN photo contest and need to identify the frog or toad, or if you wonder what kind of frogs and toads you have in your backyard or in your part of the country, consider getting this book. The book also comes with a CD of the calls of 99 frog calls.