Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide

Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide

by Mike Dorcas, Whit Gibbons


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Frogs are amazingly diverse—ranging from the massive goliath frog, which weighs several pounds, to the recently discovered gold frog, which measures a mere three-eighths of an inch when fully grown—and have inhabited the earth for more than 200 million years. Today, however, these amphibians face more challenges than any other vertebrate group. In this fun and informative book, herpetologists Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons answer common and not-so-common questions people may have about these fascinating animals.

Dorcas and Gibbons discuss how frogs evolved, which species currently exist in the world, and why some have recently gone extinct. They reveal what frogs eat and what eats them, their role in cultures across the globe, why many populations are declining and what we can do to reverse this dangerous trend, why there are deformed frogs, and much more. They answer expected questions such as "What is the difference between a frog and a toad?" and "Why do some people lick toads?" and unexpected ones such as "Why do some frogs lay their eggs in the leaves of trees?" and "Do frogs feel pain?"

The authors’ easy-to-understand yet thorough explanations provide insight into the amazing biology of this amphibian group. In addressing conservation questions, Dorcas and Gibbons highlight the frightening implications of the current worldwide amphibian crisis, which many scientists predict will bring extinction rates experienced by frog species to levels not seen in any vertebrate animal group in millions of years.

Packed with facts and featuring two color galleries and 70 black-and-white photographs, Frogs: The Animal Answer Guide is sure to address the questions on the minds of curious naturalists.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801899362
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 05/02/2011
Series: The Animal Answer Guides: Q&A for the Curious Naturalist
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 994,616
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Mike Dorcas is an associate professor of biology at Davidson College and the author of several books on amphibians and reptiles. Whit Gibbons is a professor emeritus of ecology at the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and the author, coauthor, and coeditor of several books, most recently Turtles: The Animal Answer Guide, also published by Johns Hopkins. Gibbons and Dorcas coauthored three other books, Snakes of the Southeast, Frogs and Toads of the Southeast, and North American Watersnakes.

Table of Contents

1. Introducing Frogs
What are frogs?
What is the difference between frogs and toads?
What other types of amphibians are there?
Why are frogs important?
Where do frogs live?
How many kinds of frogs are there?
How are frogs classified into groups?
What are frogs' closest relatives?
When did frogs evolve?
What is the oldest fossil frog?
2. Form and Function
What are the largest and smallest living frogs?
Why do so many frogs have long legs?
Are frogs slimy?
Are some frogs poisonous?
Why do toads have so many bumps?
Why is a frog's metabolism important?
Do frogs have teeth?
Do frogs sleep?
Do frogs have ears and can they hear?
How far can frogs jump?
Can frogs climb?
Can all frogs swim?
Can frogs breathe under water?
What is the sac under the frog's throat?
3. Frog Colors
Why are frogs colored the way they are?
What causes the different skin colors of frogs?
What color are a frog's eyes?
Do a frog's colors change as they grow?
Do a frog's colors change under different conditions?
Do all individuals of a single frog species look the same?
4. Frog Behavior
Why do frogs make noise?
How do frogs make sounds?
Can frogs change their calls?
Do all frogs make sounds?
Are frogs social?
Do frogs fight?
Do any frogs fly or glide?
How do some frogs stick to walls?
How smart are frogs?
Do frogs play?
How do frogs defend themselves?
Do any frogs bite to defend themselves?
5. Frog Ecologu
Which geographic regions have the most species of frogs?
What types of frogs live in rain forests?
What types of frogs live in deserts?
Why do so few frogs live in large lakes?
Do any frogs live in salt water?
Do frogs migrate?
How do frogs survive the winter?
How do frogs survive droughts?
Do frogs have enemies?
How do frogs avoid predators?
Do frogs get sick?
How can you tell if a frog is sick?
Are frogs good for the environment?
6. Reproduction and Development
How do frogs reproduce?
Do all frogs lay eggs?
How many eggs do frogs lay?
Where do frogs lay their eggs?
How do frogs protect their eggs?
Do frogs care for their young?
Why do some frogs lay their eggs in strange places?
Do all frogs have a tadpole stage?
How many baby frogs grow to be adults?
How fast do frogs grow?
How is the sex of a frog determined during development?
How can someone tell a frog's sex?
How can you tell the age of a frog?
How long do frogs live?
7. Food and Feeding
What do frogs eat?
Do frogs chew their food?
Why do some frogs have such long tongues?
How do frogs find food?
Do frogs drink water?
How do desert frogs keep from drying out?
What do tadpoles eat?
Why do tadpoles of some species eat their siblings?
8. Frogs and Humans
Do frogs make good pets?
Where can I get a pet frog?
How do you take care of a pet frog?
Are any species of frogs dangerous to humans?
Do frogs feel pain?
Why do toads urinate on people when they are picked up?
How can I see frogs in the wild?
9. Frog Problems (from a human viewpoint)
Why should people care about frogs?
Are frogs pests?
Do frogs have diseases and are they contagious to humans?
Is it safe to eat frogs?
Are frogs raised by humans for food?
Can a person get high from licking or smoking a toad?
Can toads cause warts in humans?
How can frogs be used in research?
10. Human Problems (from a frog's viewpoint)
Are any frogs endangered?
Why are frog populations declining?
Why are frogs disappearing from some parts of the world but not others?
Are frogs affected by climate change?
Are frogs affected by pollution?
Are diseases causing frog populations to disappear?
Why do some frogs have extra legs?
How do roads affect frogs?
Why are there no frogs living in the wetland or stream behind my house?
What can an ordinary citizen do to help frogs?
11. Frogs in Stories and Literature
What roles do frogs play in religion and mythology?
What do frogs have to do with fiction or fairy tales?
What roles do frogs play in native cultures?
What roles do frogs play in modern or popular culture?
What roles have frogs played in poetry and otherliterature?
12. "Frogology"
Who studies frogs?
Why do scientists study frogs?
How do scientists study frogs?
Which species are best known?
Which species are least known?
How do scientists tell frogs apart?
Why do the scientific names and classification of frogs change frequently?
Appendix A: Synonyms of Frog Scientific Names
Appendix B: Resources, Organizations, and Societies for Frog and Toad Conservation

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