Members of this family are found worldwide, but they have a limited distribution in South America and Australia. They do not occur in the West Indies, nor on most oceanic islands. In many parts of the world the frog population has declined drastically over the last few decades. Pollutants are one cause for this decline, but other culprits include climatic changes, parasitic infestation, introduction of non-indigenous predators/competitors, infectious diseases, and urban encroachment.














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The life cycle of a frog involves several stages. Typically adult frogs gather in suitable pools, the first to arive usually being the males. Their croaking may well encourage the females to arrive. A female would wish to avoid arriving at a pond which did not have any males in attendance. Gravid female frogs are actively and persistently sought out by males and many males will often try to attach themselves to a single female but eventually one male will secure possession. Amplexus is the process wherein the male grasps the female while she lays her eggs. At the same time, he fertilizes them with a fluid containing sperm. The eggs are about 2.0 to 2.8 millimetres in diameter and are dark brown and are covered in an outer shell of gelatinous transparent material which swells in contact with water. The female frog lays her eggs in a shallow pond or creek, where they will be sheltered from the current and from predators. The eggs, known as frogspawn hatch into tadpoles. The tadpole stage develops gradually into a froglet, resembling an adult but retaining a vestigial tail. Finally the froglet develops into an adult frog. Typically, tadpoles are herbivores, feeding mostly on algae, whereas juvenile and adult frogs are rather voracious carnivores.

001-013.jpg courtesy Us Fish and Wildlife Service
014-016.jpg courtesy: National Undersea Research Program
017-018.jpg courtesy: pdphoto.org





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