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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

American Bullfrog

Photo Credit: Tigershrike
The bullfrog gets its name from its powerful call, which sounds more like the bellow of a bull than the croak of a frog. The bullfrog's strong hind legs enable it to jump long distances.

Originally found only east of the Rocky Mountains, this large frog has spread west and is used in California to supply the local demand for frog's legs. It has also been introduced as a source of protein in Jamaica and Cuba.

The bullfrog often stays submerged with just its nostrils and bulging eyes showing. This position allows the frog to spot danger easily. Movable lids protect the eyes from dust and grit, and a special gland keeps them moist.

The bullfrog has a strong sense of hearing. Its ears are located under the skin, but the eardrums can be seen as rings behind the eyes. A male's rings are twice the size of the female's.

The bullfrog has a blind spot in front of its nostrils so it must turn its head slightly to one side to see its prey.

Bullfrogs like to eat underwater. They often submerge themselves in the water before eating prey caught on a stream or pond ban,

The bullfrog's large size allows it to eat more types of prey than most smaller frogs. It eats small fish, insects, and even frogs of its own species. It also preys on small mammals, such as mice, snakes, and young alligators.

Did you know?
  • American bullfrogs can catch and eat bats. One American bullfrog found in a snake cage in the Pretoria Zoo ate 16 young cobras. 
  • Most frogs leave hatching eggs and tadpoles to fend for themselves, but the male bullfrog may defend its tadpoles from predators. 
  • Each frog species has a distinct call that only the female of the same species responds to. It two species live in the same area, the calls become even more distinct so that the frogs can not become confused.

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