Part 1: Where they live and how they grow.

Frogs and toads are among the best known amphibians.

Red-eyed tree frog. Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

Warty frog species are often called toads, but the distinction between frogs and toads is informal, not scientific. All toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads.

Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

There are over 6,000 species of frogs worldwide.

Photo: Strawberry poison-dart frog (Oophaga pumilio) in Costa Rica’s Atlantic rainforest. Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

Frogs live in a wide-range of habitats from deserts to sub-arctic regions to the tropics.

Black-spotted rock frog (Staurois natator) in Indonesian Borneo. Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

While frogs are found all around the world, the greatest abundance and diversity is found in tropical rainforests.

Lemur frog (Agalychnis lemur). Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

Brazil has the most species of frog, with more than 1,000.

Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

Colombia has the second most species of frog, with about 800.

Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

China, India, and Indonesia are the countries in Asia with the most species of frog.

Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

Madagascar has more species of frog than any other country in Africa.

Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

Frogs live in trees, under leaves, in lakes and creeks, and even underground.

Imbabura tree frog. Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

While some frogs spend most of their time in the water, all frog species breathe air and therefore must surface from time-to-time.

Green-and-black poison dart frog in Costa Rica. Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

Frogs have semi-permeable skin, which makes them highly sensitive to toxins in their habitats. It also means they are susceptible to dehydration, so they either need to live in moist places or have special adaptations to deal with dry conditions.

Panamanian golden toad. Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

Frogs, like other amphibians, typically have a multi-stage life-cycle.

Reed frog in Madagascar. Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

Most frogs undergo the process of metamorphosis as they develop from their larval stage into their adult form.

Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

Most frogs start life in eggs, which are usually laid in or near water.

Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

After hatching, most frogs then enter into the larval stage as tadpoles.

Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

Tadpoles have gills, enabling them to live fully underwater where they feed on microorganisms and algae.

Three-striped poison arrow frog with tadpoles on its back. Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

From the tadpole stage, frogs eventually develop into their adult form.

Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

However some frogs develop directly from eggs into their adult frog form.

Glass frog in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. Photographer: Rhett A. Butler

Photographer and author: Rhett A. Butler

Love frogs? Check out more in this Photo Journal series on frogs:

https://kids.mongabay.com/learn-about-frogs-part-2/

https://kids.mongabay.com/learn-about-frogs-part-3/

https://kids.mongabay.com/learn-about-frogs-part-4/