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10 Differences Between Frogs and Toads

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Frogs and toads are two amphibians that are often mistaken for one another, however, there are several differences between them. The main difference between a frog and a toad is that frogs are usually aquatic creatures that live in water, while toads are usually terrestrial creatures that live on land.

This blog post will explore the 10 key differences between frog and toad species.

1) Color

Generally, frogs have more vibrant colors, ranging from bright oranges to striking yellows and greens.

a frog
A frog

Toads, on the other hand, tend to have a more muted, earthy color palette, with colors ranging from dark browns to grays and even white. Some toads have an almost mottled pattern, with darker colors mixed into a lighter base.

2) Skin Texture

One of the most noticeable differences between frogs and toads is their skin texture. Frogs generally have smooth and moist skin, while toads have dry and bumpy skin.

a toad
A toad

Frogs are usually found in wet environments, so their skin is adapted to absorb environmental moisture. Toads, however, prefer dry places, so their skin has more bumps and ridges to help them retain moisture. The bumps also act as a defense mechanism, as some species are toxic, and the bumps make it harder for predators to eat them.

3) Size

Frogs and toads differ in size, with toads tending to be the larger species. But, size can vary greatly within each species. Generally, frogs can range between 2.4 and 3.5 inches long, while toads usually range between 1.2 inches and 6.3 inches long.

4) Shape

Frogs tend to have narrower, more streamlined bodies than toads. Toads, on the other hand, have shorter legs and thicker waistlines.

This difference in shape is partially due to the fact that frogs typically live near water (where a streamlined body helps them swim faster), while most toads live further inland (where a stockier body allows them to move better on land). 

5) Call

Another way you can tell these two amphibians apart is by their calls. Frogs typically have higher-pitched calls than toads, which usually have deeper "croaks." Some species of frogs even make sounds that don't resemble croaks at all—they can click, grunt, trill, or whistle instead.

6) Location

Frogs can be found all over the world in nearly every climate imaginable, from tropical rainforests to cold mountain streams. Toads can live in damp places but enjoy dryer habitats like fields and forests. Toad species are more limited in their distribution, mostly found in temperate regions of Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and South America.

7) Diet

Frogs and toads have markedly different diets. Frogs are carnivorous, eating insects, worms, and other small invertebrates. Toads, on the other hand, are omnivorous, while they still consume insects, they are also known to dine on fruits, vegetables, and other plant matter.

For example, the American toad has been observed eating earthworms, snails, spiders, and even other amphibians, such as salamanders.

8) Reproductive Habits

Frogs and toads have complicated reproductive habits that differ significantly. Frogs typically lay their eggs in water or damp environments, while toads lay in moist soil or vegetation.

Toads also tend to lay more eggs than frogs, with a female toad laying hundreds of eggs in a single clutch. Frogs tend to have external fertilization, meaning the male releases sperm on the eggs in the water. In contrast, toads have internal fertilization, meaning the male transfers sperm to the female.

9) Life cycle

The life cycles of frogs and toads also differ quite a bit. For example, did you know that many frog species go through metamorphosis? This means they start out as tadpoles (tiny fish-like creatures) before growing legs and becoming adults. Toads don't go through metamorphosis—they hatch from eggs looking much like miniature adults and then grow larger as they age. The average frog lifespan is 2-10 years while the toad lifespan is 10-15 years. 

10) Eyesight

Frogs typically have excellent eyesight compared to most other animals, allowing them to see objects clearly even when they're far away. Toads, on the other hand, usually have poor eyesight and rely mostly on smell and touch instead.

Final words

While these two amphibians may look similar to the untrained eye there are actually quite a few physical behavioral and location differences between them. So next time someone tries to tell you that "a frog is just a toad that didn't have enough time to grow "you can set them straight! Next time you see a frog or a toad, see if you can spot some of these 10 differences for yourself!

Feel free to comment and discuss about the article in the comment space below if you have any information or remarks to add. If you think we made a mistake, you can also report it there.
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About the Author: Tom Vincent

Tom Vincent graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and social studies. He then started his higher education at the University of François Rabelais in Tours with a DUT Information Communication. To expand his knowledge, he also followed a professional degree in e-commerce and digital marketing at the Lumière University of Lyon. On this project, he is in charge of articles covering language, industry and social.
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