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Impermanence and Toads - Phil's Rambling Rants — LiveJournal
June 19th, 2007
09:19 pm

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Impermanence and Toads

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From:robin_june
Date:June 20th, 2007 03:42 am (UTC)
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Remembering back when we explored the woods beyond our wooded lots behind our suburban house in Mass., the differences between frogs and toads are that (a) frogs have slimy wet skin and need to immerse in water on a regular basis, while toads have dry skin (and warts, which exude irritants, so Don't Touch!) and live on dry land as adults. Frogs are green and toads are brown, but actually so many are brownish green or greenish brown that you need to seek other clues.

Also (b) if the puddleful of tadpoles that you scoop up and keep in a basin of water in your back yard sprout their backlegs in just a day or so, they're toads. If it's a week or more, they're frogs.
Thousands of half-inch-long ones? Yup, toad cohort hatching. I'm wondering if they were laid as eggs before the rainstorm, but only developed so far, and had to delay finishing out until the rain came.
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From:tigertoy
Date:June 20th, 2007 02:50 pm (UTC)
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Is the wet vs. dry skin the defining difference between frogs and toads, or just a typical characteristic?
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From:robin_june
Date:June 21st, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)
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That's what my gradeschool science taught me, and, sad to say now that I think of it, not updated by all my years of postsecondary biological practicing.

Any herpetologists out there?
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From:tigertoy
Date:June 21st, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
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Well, Wikipedia says:

The use of the common names "frog" and "toad" has no taxonomic justification. From a taxonomic perspective, all members of the order Anura are frogs, but only members of the family Bufonidae are considered "true toads". The use of the term "frog" in common names usually refers to species that are aquatic or semi-aquatic with smooth or moist skins, and the term "toad" generally refers to species that tend to be terrestrial with dry, warty skin.
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