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Saturn's New Moons
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Where rivers run uphill
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Warmest Year on Record
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Frogs and Toads

Frogs and toads are species of tailless amphibians, with short, squad front legs and muscular hind legs adapted for hopping or leaping. Their life cycle includes a "tadpole" phase, in which they appear almost fish-like right out of the egg, but gradually grow legs and absorb their tail. Adults may stay close to water their entire lives, or go on to live entirely on land, depending upon the species. Frogs and toads comprise the order Anura, or Salientia, one of the three main groups of amphibians. There are about 3,500 known species of frogs and 300 kinds of toads. They are found on every continent except Antarctica. Some types spend their entire life in or near water, but others live mainly on land and come to the water only to mate. A few other species never enter the water. Some frogs and toads are climbers that dwell in trees or burrowers that live underground. Generally, toads have a broader, flatter body and darker, drier, bumpy skin than most frogs. Toads also have shorter, less powerful back legs. Toads have a pair of parotoid glands located on the top of their heads. These glands produce a poison that can make people ill or cause eye irritation. Some frogs have poison glands that oozes onto their skin. If an enemy grabs the frog, the poison repels the predator. Frogs and toads are cold-blooded animals; their bodies are the same temperature as their surroundings. They avoid direct sunlight and heat and are more active at night or on rainy days. Bulging eyes give them fairly good eyesight with the ability to see in almost any direction. Most frogs also have a thin, partly clear inner eyelid called the nictitating membrane. This membrane can move upward, covering and protecting their eyes without completely blocking their vision. Most frogs hear sounds via the tympanum or eardrum disk, that is located behind each eye. Their sense of touch is also well developed, especially in those species living in water. Frogs call out to each other, mainly during the mating season. Toads and frogs have a long, sticky tongue that is hinged at the front of the mouth, allowing it to rapidly flip out and capture insect prey.

Frogs and Toads
Frogs and Toads








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