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Morphology of Frog

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Morphology of Frog - Lesson Summary

Frogs are tailless animals that live both on land and in fresh water. There are about 4,000 species of frogs world-wide but they are usually found in tropical and subtropical regions. India too is home to many species, the most common being Rana tigrina. Amphibians can change their body temperature according to the temperature of the environment. Frogs undergo hibernation in winter and aestivation in summer and are therefore not visible during these seasons. The dorsal side of their body is olive green with dark irregular spots while the ventral side is pale yellow. This colouration of the skin makes the frog inconspicuous to predators and is also known as mimicry.The frog’s skin is smooth and slippery due to the presence of mucus, which makes it difficult for prey to grasp it and helps in the diffusion of respiratory gases.
 
The body of a frog is divided into two regions – head and trunk. There is no neck and tail. The head bears a wide, semi-circular mouth, above which is a pair of small nostrils. A little behind the nostrils is a pair of large, bulging eyes covered by a transparent nictitating membrane, which protects the eyes while in water. Behind the eyes is a pair of membranous tympanum, which receives sound signals. The head is attached to the trunk, which is a broad structure that usually shows a hump in the sitting posture. It bears two pairs of limbs – forelimbs and hind limbs – that help to swim, walk, leap and burrow. The hind limbs have five digits and are larger and muscular than the forelimbs, which have four digits. Moreover, the long digits of the hind limbs are connected by a web that helps to swim.
 
In frogs, the sexes are separate and certain features help to easily distinguish between a male and a female frog. Male frogs possess two vocal sacs on the lower side of their throat, which are used for croaking. They also have a copulatory pad on the first digit of their forelimbs. Both these organs are absent in female frogs. Although frogs are undesirable in residential areas, they are beneficial to farmers as they eat insects and protect crops. They serve as an important link in the food chain and food web in the ecosystem and thus maintain an ecological balance. 

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