The Frog Quiz

ANIMALS

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Torrance Grey

6 Min Quiz

One thing that even non-frog-lovers can be expected to know about them is that they are all what?

Frogs make up the vast majority of the taxonomic class "Amphibia." These are animals that are equally well-adapted to water and land, or split their time between these environments. The other three things aren't well known (we hope!) because they aren't actually true.

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Which of these is the most common color for a frog?

Ask a child to draw a frog, and he or she will very likely reach for the green crayon. The same is probably true of an adult with a paint palette, to be honest. But frogs do range in color, with gold and black and red all represented. Sometimes they're virtually colorblocked, as if designed by Tommy Hilfiger.

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In taxonomy, beyond the class "amphibia," all frogs fall into which class?

The lineage goes like this: Animalia-Chordata-Amphibia-Anura. From there, frogs fall into different families. The order name "Anura" comes from the Greek language, and means "without tail."

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What's the difference between a frog and a toad?

Toads are all within the order Anura, but there is no solid definition of what makes a frog a toad. Some purists will tell you that only members of the family Bufonidae are "real toads," and this might be as good a definition as any.

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Which of these is NOT a typical characteristic of a toad?

Toads, like all frogs, lay eggs. It is also common for them to have dry skin and warts. The warts aren't a sign of an underlying medical issue, as they often are in other animals. They are characteristic of the toad, and they do NOT transmit them to humans.

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Some toads also have which other intimidating anatomical feature?

The United States is home to more than half of the world's horned toad species, including the Texas Horned Lizard. Fun fact: Horned frogs are known for their fearlessness and voracious appetite, sometimes trying to consume an animal as large as themselves.

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The most famous fictional frog of all time is probably who?

If you were expecting this to be strictly a scientific quiz ... well, we're sorry to disappoint you! You'll find several questions on frogs in art and popular culture in this quiz. Evidently, they've fascinated humans for some time!

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When it's time to eat, frogs are primarily what?

This characteristic, being carnivorous, makes frogs both a common predator and a common prey animal. Sidenote: We swear we're not making up the word "graminivorous." It means, "eating grasses or the seeds of grasses."

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How do many frogs catch their insect prey?

You've probably seen this in animations before — it's a favorite for artists to draw, the frog's tongue flicking out at lightning speed and catching a fly out of the air. We sometimes wish we had this skill on mornings when we're in a hurry and see a donut conveniently out on the counter!

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Which of these world regions is devoid of frogs?

Snowy tundra and dry, hot desert are both inhospitable habitats for frogs. Otherwise, a world map of their distribution shows that these hardy creatures have a presence almost everywhere: The Americas, Australia, most of Africa and Asia, and Europe.

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In folklore, when someone kisses a frog, it turns into what?

Every reader of fairy tales knows this one. But we have lingering questions: If you kiss a female frog, does she turn into a princess? If so, why is this never represented in fairy tales? (We suppose the original "Shrek" comes close. If you don't catch this reference, watch it again. It's worth it!)

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In frog-speak, what is a "knot"?

This name, as well as the alternate, "army," is informal, not a part of scientific nomenclature. It's one of the less-inventive names for an animal group that we've heard: Our reigning favorite is "a prickle of porcupines."

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According to the fossil record, about when did the first frog evolve?

This makes frogs not quite as old as Homo sapiens, who were believed to branch off from Homo erectus about 350,000 years ago. Frogs are real survivors, though, having made it through several mass extinction events, but many species are on the "threatened" list today.

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How much of its life does a tree frog spend in trees?

Tree frogs live an "arboreal" life (the adjective is derived from the Latin word for "tree"; think of Arbor Day). They are often green — sometimes bright green — in order to camouflage themselves, and have sticky toe pads to help them adhere to vertical surfaces.

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In addition to green coloring and sticky toe pads, what else helps tree frogs live in trees?

Tree frogs don't have hollow bones like birds do, but their diminutive size and light weight helps them to ascend to heights and stay there. A light weight also means that slender branches won't break underneath them.

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If a frog is brightly colored, what is likely to be true about it?

Smaller animals have several ways to signal to predators that they are not worth the risk of attacking. Bright colors, in frogs, indicate that they have toxic glands and skin secretions, and won't be a pleasant experience to eat.

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Where do frogs usually lay their eggs?

This makes sense, as the young are born as tadpoles. The tadpoles start their life as fully aquatic creatures, only growing limbs and venturing onto land as adult frogs. Fun fact: A group of frog eggs is called a "frogspawn."

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Another name for a tadpole is ...

Kind of a silly name, right? Not that "tadpole" is that much more dignified. Fun fact: Because tadpoles/pollywogs have no bones, there aren't any pollywog fossils ... but the remnants of tadpole "biofilms" have been found and used for study.

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Which of these is true of tadpole lungs?

Psych! Tadpoles are entirely aquatic, and breathe through gills, as many (though not all) aquatic creatures do. Few animals are so different in their juvenile and adult forms as tadpoles and frogs. Tadpoles have tails but no limbs, are herbivorous and breathe through gills. Frogs have legs but no tail, are mostly carnivorous and breathe air through lungs.

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Frogs have particularly protuberant ...

A frog's wide-set and bulging eyes are a vital early-warning system: They have a wide range of vision, more than 300 degrees, which makes them pretty difficult to sneak up on. News of the Weird Dept: Frogs' eyes aid them in swallowing food — they can "retract" their eyeballs to create pressure that forces food downward.

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Some frogs can enter a hibernation-like state. What is this called?

Kids learn about hibernation in schools. usually in relation to bears. But scientists have identified several other "hibernation-like" states, including torpor. It is marked by a low body temperature and reduced metabolic activity.

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What gave the "Goliath frog" its name?

The Goliath of the Bible was a giant, and among frogs, so is its namesake. It can grow to more than a foot and a half long, and some have been weighed at more then seven pounds. This will probably not help anyone with a frog-and-toad phobia.

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The smallest known frog is about the size of what?

The tiny Paedophyrne Amauensis is so little you could fit two or three on a dime (and if you Google a photo of the little guy, you might see the frog sitting on one, for scale). It's easily mistaken for an insect because its tiny, shrill call sounds like that of a bug. Coming from so small a chest, that's not a surprise!

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How many times a day does a frog drink?

Most frogs absorb water through their skin, instead of consuming water the way mammals and some other animals do. This is why frogs can't live too far from a water source: If their skin dries out, they die of dehydration.

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A frog's slimy skin is host to what?

While we find frogs' slimy skin unpleasant to the touch, that slime is not only keeping the frog hydrated, but hosting a rich variety of microbes. These microbes are important to health, just like the ones in a human's digestive system.

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Which of these anatomic features do most frogs lack?

Frogs have teeth? It's strange, but most do, while toads do not. It's ribs that frogs lack, a feature that most vertebrates need to allow for breathing. In place of ribs, frogs use a process called "buccal pumping" to breathe.

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Frogs are ectothermic, meaning they are what?

Ectotherms cannot regulate their body temperate from within, like mammals can, thanks to our rock-star hypothalamuses (hypothalami?). Frogs need to seek out warm environments, but avoid those that are too hot, to accomplish the same thing.

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Which animals, other than frogs, croak?

The "croak" is unique to the frog. Many of them have "vocal sacs" under the mouth which fill with air and amplify the call. The main purpose of a frog's croak is to attract a mate, with females preferring a loud, low croak.

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The best jumper, the striped rocket frog, has been measured to jump what distance?

To be exact, it was seen to jump six feet, seven inches. While that might not sound terribly impressive to you, it's more than 50 times the small rocket frog's body length. Sure beats the Jack Russell terrier, which is the best jumper among dogs, but can only jump five times its height.

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In which book would you find "Mr. Toad," of "Toad Hall"?

"Mr. Toad" is a rich and snazzily-dressed toad in the children's book by Kenneth Grahame. He's also the star of a play by A.A. Milne, "Toad of Toad Hall." Who says that frogs get all the best roles?

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The Trichobatrachus robustus is known as the "hairy frog." Does it have actual hair?

This odd-looking brown-and-green frog grows hair-like papillae along the centerline of its body; it looks a bit like a Hawaiian grass skirt. Need to Know Department: The "hairy frog" will also break its own toes when threatened by a predator, in order to make the toes claw-like and use them as weapons. Hardcore!

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When a frog has webbed feet, what purpose do they serve?

Many frogs swim, but fewer are "flying" frogs, ones that can glide over short distances. In the latter case, the webbing spreads out and serves a parachute-like function, increasing air resistance and lift.

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Which of these things have frogs never been observed to do?

Frogs are a diverse lot, and do all these things. You might have heard of "flying" frogs, which can leap from heights and glide — but maybe you were surprised to learn that there are digging and burrowing frogs as well. The official term for this is "fossorial."

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The wood frog can survive with about ___ percent of its body tissues frozen.

It's confusing, isn't it? Frogs in general don't live in the Arctic or Antarctic regions ... and yet the wood frog's territory extends into areas above the Arctic Circle, and it's well-adapted to surviving in the cold. This frog stores glucose in its internal organs, which allows it to survive with more than half its body frozen.

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Which of these is NOT the common name of a real frog species?

Yes, people really do eat the "edible frog." Especially in France, where frogs' legs are something of a national dish. But there's no snowy Arctic frog -- as noted in another question, they don't survive at the poles!

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Image: Images from BarbAnna / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Is your typical reaction to frogs "Ew, gross!" or "Oooh, fascinating!" If it's the first, we're here to try to change it to the second. You might know that frogs are amphibious, equally at home in water or on land, and that they are jumpers par excellence. But do you know the record held by the striped rocket frog, the best leaper among this order of animals? Or can you name the few regions on earth where frogs cannot be found. And then there's the question that's the granddaddy of them all: What's the difference between a frog and a toad? (Oh geez, we're getting a headache just thinking about it). 

This quiz is mostly about the scientific characteristics of frogs: How they reproduce, their most interesting anatomic features and habits, and so on. But just to keep things fresh, we've mixed in a few questions about frogs in popular culture — including a famous puppet, the emcee of a traveling variety show. (If you don't know who we're talking about, well, the pop-culture part of the quiz might not be your strong suit, but at least there are plenty of science questions at which you can excel!)

Show off your knowledge of all things amphibian now!

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