Frog Predators: What Eats Frogs?

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Frogs are tailless, slimy amphibians belonging to the order Anura. Most of them have bulging eyes protruding from the surrounding surface. Frogs rattle and have webbed hind feet for jumping and swimming. They also have smooth, moist skin and are primarily aquatic; however, some live on land, in caves, and in woods. An interesting fact about these amphibians is that they mostly live in moist, wet places like ponds or streams, and they breathe through their skin effortlessly.

frog background

Frogs are primarily carnivores and use their tongues to catch their prey. Adult frogs feed on insects and worms, while young tadpoles feed on algae with the help of their saliva. Their saliva is usually sticky, so when they attack their prey with their tongues, this force will liquefy the sticky saliva on the prey, making it easy to eat.

Although these pretty little amphibians may look harmless, some South American frogs are poisonous. These frogs are so poisonous that a single drop of secretions from their skin can kill a full grown adult. In addition to their deadly properties, frogs often provide a delicacy for certain humans and animals that feed on them.

What eats frogs?

do frogs cause warts
Birds, reptiles, and fish prey on frogs.

©Seregraff/Shutterstock.com

Animals such as snakes, lizards, water shrews, and herons feed on frogs.

Despite their incredible defense mechanisms, frogs provide a delicious meal for a surprising number of wildlife. Frogs are vulnerable to predators on the ground, underwater, and above. When they are still in the egg or tadpole stage, they are largely defenseless against predators.

Frog predators include:

  • birds
  • reptile
  • fish
  • small mammal
  • Humanity
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Frog Predators: Birds

Birds that eat frogs include herons, storks, gulls, crows, egrets, ducks, swans, geese, crows, hawks, owls, cranes, bluejays, loons, and totoaba. Fascinatingly, their habitat plays a crucial role in how often these flying creatures eat frogs. So, by default, frogs that share the same natural environment as birds are more likely to be their food on a regular basis.

For example, the heron struggled with the giant frog for about 15 minutes before swallowing it whole. It opens its beak to steer the frog down its esophagus.

Crows also have some defense mechanisms against toxins that frogs have. For this reason, crows gained a greater advantage by eating a greater variety of frogs than other birds of their time.

Frog Predators: Reptiles

Reptiles like pythons eat frogs.

©Sanne Romijn Fotografie/Shutterstock.com

Several reptiles like lizards, snakes, and aquatic animals like to eat frogs.

Snakes eat frogs; however, they swallow them whole because they don't have teeth to break down their food.

Surprisingly, some lizards eat frogs. However, the amount of food they eat can sometimes be a challenge for these reptiles, so by default they may need to eat more to enjoy most of their prey. Lizards such as bearded dragons, chameleons, iguanas, and goannas feed on frogs.

Both snapping turtles and alligators eat frogs, and this particular diet, along with other delicacies, increases their dietary nutrition throughout their lifespan.

Frog Predators: Fish

Smallmouth Bass vs Largemouth Bass
Bass are carnivores that eat insects, fish, and other small animals.

©iStock.com/RLSPHOTO

Many fish species eat frogs in small quantities, but some species, such as bass, eat frogs in large quantities. Most of these predatory fish like to eat frogs because of their teeth row in the jaw. Common fish that feed on frogs include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and northern pike.

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Frog Predators: Small Mammals

Fox Tooth - barking red fox
Small mammals like foxes have been known to eat frogs.

©iStock.com/Tyrannax

A wide variety of small mammals feed on frogs. These species include skunks, foxes, weasels, ermines, raccoons, and more. Pets like cats and dogs also occasionally eat frogs, but unfortunately, they tend to get very sick due to the frog's skin toxins.

Frog Predators: Humans

Frog legs are well known in French and Chinese cuisines. Amazingly, they have been harvested in Turkey for over 30 years and sales have grown exponentially. Frog legs are widely consumed in different parts of the world today for their protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and potassium nutritional value to humans.

Other Dangers of Frogs

In spring, the number of frogs increases dramatically, so people drive frogs out of their homes during this season. Humans use different methods, including setting up barriers, hiring exterminators, and even killing them.

How Frogs Fend Off Predators

Frogs have different mechanisms to protect themselves from predators, these techniques may include:

  • Pee to deter predators.
  • Jumping Tactics: Many frogs may use their ability to jump away from a predator.
  • Bite Ability: Some frogs have strong gnashing teeth that may bite their predators.
  • Slippery Advantage: Frogs may put themselves in slippery mode to avoid predators.
  • SOS: As a defense mechanism, frogs may make sounds by screaming to scare their predators.

types of frogs

In the tropics, there are several different species of frogs, and they include:

Red-Eyed Tree Frog : The red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas), also known as the monkey frog, is native to the tropical lowlands. They are a species of flashes of exaggerated coloration and impressive jumping abilities.

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Blue Poison Dart Frog : The blue poison dart frog is known as Dendrobates tinctorius. It is considered the most beautiful frog and resembles a precious gem among other frogs. This frog is a rare species found in some tropical rainforests in Suriname and northern Brazil. Its appearance may be eye-catching; however, the alkaloids in its skin are toxic enough to kill a predator.

Poisonous golden frog : As the name suggests, this frog's brightly colored skin contains a deadly poison called frog toxin. Although it looks harmless, it is considered to be one of the most venomous animal species on earth.

Amazon Milk Frog (Trachycephalus resinifictrix) : They are endemic to the Amazon rainforest of South America. They have unique characteristics – their color fades as they grow, and their skin texture becomes increasingly grainy.

Tomato Frog : This frog is native to the islands in the northeast of Madagascar. Tomato frogs are larger — tomato-like and brightly colored.

Next:

9 Frog Species Spotted on the Mississippi River

Tree Frogs vs. Toads: What's the Difference?

10 Incredible Tree Frog Facts

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featured image

Red-eyed tree frog isolated on white background
Male and female red-eyed tree frogs are similar in appearance, but the males are slightly smaller.

© Bildagentur Zonar GmbH/Shutterstock.com


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