April 2021 - 21

Wyoming do have bumpy skin. Columbia spotted
frogs and wood frogs have raised bumps, but their
skin still looks moist.
Frogs have large, bulging eyes while the eyes of
toads don't appear to protrude from their heads.
Excellent swimmers, frogs have webbed hind feet
to aid their movement in water. The hind feet of
toads are not as heavily webbed and often display
more finger-like appendages, used by some species
for digging in sand or loose soils. Also, frogs lay their
eggs in clusters while the eggs of toads are laid in long
strings that look like a chain.
Unlike frogs, toads have a large parotoid gland
behind their eyes. Estes-Zumpf said this gland contains a toxin, so it is sometimes referred to as the
poison gland. Outdoor enthusiasts are most likely
to encounter the toxin through their dogs.
" Some dogs are quite happy to mouth a toad, "
Estes-Zumpf said. " With toads in Wyoming, it can
make a dog salivate profusely but it's not really harmful. In other places, like some southern states, the
glands on toads are toxic enough to cause a fatal
reaction in some dogs. "

Frogs have large, bulging
eyes while the eyes of
toads don't appear to
protrude from their heads.
What a life

Whether frog or toad, the same lifestyle governs
the reproduction and growth of these creatures. Both
lay eggs in or near water. A mother frog may lay hundreds of eggs, but a small percentage of them hatch
into tadpoles, which is the next phase of development
into a frog or toad. Some eggs are infertile, others
dry up in the sun and a significant number may be
eaten by predators.
Once an egg hatches, with timing depending on
the species, it becomes a tadpole. Initially, tadpoles
have internal gills, a tail and a mouth. For about
the first week, tadpoles are nourished by the yolk of
their egg that remains in their gut. Then they begin
feeding on algae as they gain locomotion.
As metamorphosis continues, the tadpole starts to
develop lungs, loses its gills and grows teeth. Now it
is capable of eating dead insects and other foods. The
tadpole continues to progress becoming slenderer,
forming legs and a noticeable head.
Within three months of hatching, the tadpole
		

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April 2021

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