froglike, adj.
/frog, frawg/, n., v., frogged, frogging, adj.
1. any tailless, stout-bodied amphibian of the order Anura, including the smooth, moist-skinned frog species that live in a damp or semiaquatic habitat and the warty, drier-skinned toad species that are mostly terrestrial as adults.
2. Also called true frog, ranid. any frog of the widespread family Ranidae, most members of which are semiaquatic and have smooth, moist skin and relatively long hind legs used for leaping. Cf. toad (def. 2).
3. a slight hoarseness, usually caused by mucus on the vocal cords: a frog in the throat.
4. (often cap.) Slang (disparaging and offensive). a French person or a person of French descent.
5. a small holder made of heavy material, placed in a bowl or vase to hold flower stems in position.
6. a recessed panel on one of the larger faces of a brick or the like.
7. Music. nut (def. 11b).
8. to hunt and catch frogs.
9. (often cap.) Slang (disparaging and offensive). French or Frenchlike.
[bef. 1000; ME frogge, OE frogga, frocga; cf. dial., ME frosh, ON froskr, OHG frosk (G Frosch); (defs. 4, 9) because Frenchmen were stereotypically thought of as eating frogs; (defs. 5, 6) of unclear derivation and perh. of distinct orig.]
/frog, frawg/, n.
1. an ornamental fastening for the front of a coat, consisting of a button and a loop through which it passes.
2. a sheath suspended from a belt and supporting a scabbard.
[1710-20; perh. < Pg froco < L floccus FLOCK2]
/frog, frawg/, n.
Railroads. a device at the intersection of two tracks to permit the wheels and flanges on one track to cross or branch from the other.
[1840-50, Amer.; of uncert. orig.]
/frog, frawg/, n. Zool.
a triangular mass of elastic, horny substance in the middle of the sole of the foot of a horse or related animal.
[1600-10; cf. earlier frush in same sense (prob. < F fourchette FOURCHETTE); presumably identified with dial. frosh frog, hence with FROG1]

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Any of various tailless amphibians in the order Anura.

The name may be limited to any member of the family Ranidae (true frogs); more broadly, it often distinguishes smooth-skinned, leaping anurans from squat, warty, hopping ones (toads). Frogs generally have protruding eyes, strong, webbed hind feet adapted for leaping and swimming, and smooth, moist skin. Most are predominantly aquatic, but some live on land. They range in length (snout to anus) from 0.4 to 12 in. (9.8 mm–30 cm). Though frogs have poisonous skin glands, they rely on camouflage for protection from predators. Most eat insects and other small arthropods or worms, but several also eat other frogs, rodents, and reptiles. They usually breed in freshwater, where they lay eggs that hatch into tadpoles. Since 1989 researchers have become increasingly alarmed by striking declines in frog populations worldwide, suspected to be linked to climatic factors or a fungal disease.

Costa Rican flying tree frog (Agalychnis spurrelli).

Heather Angel

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  any of various tailless amphibians (amphibian) belonging to the order Anura. Used strictly, the term may be limited to any member of the family Ranidae (true frogs), but more broadly the name frog is often used to distinguish the smooth-skinned, leaping anurans from squat, warty, hopping ones, which are called toads (toad).

      A brief treatment of frogs follows. For full treatment, see Anura (frogs and toads).

  In general, frogs have protruding eyes, no tail, and strong, webbed hind feet that are adapted for leaping and swimming. They also possess smooth, moist skins. Many are predominantly aquatic, but some live on land, in burrows, or in trees. A number depart from the typical form. Sedge frogs (Hyperolius), for example, are climbing African frogs with adhesive toe disks. The flying frogs (Rhacophorus) are tree-dwelling, Old World rhacophorids; they can glide 12 to 15 metres (40 to 50 feet) by means of expanded webbing between the fingers and toes (see tree frog).

      The snout-vent length of frogs ranges from 9.8 mm (0.4 inch) in the Brazilian Psyllophryne didactyla to 30 cm (12 inches) in the West African Conraua goliath. The male anuran is generally smaller than the female.

   Although many frogs have poisonous skin glands (gland), these toxins (toxin) do not usually provide protection from predatory mammals (mammal), birds (bird), and snakes (snake). Edible anurans rely on camouflage; some blend with their backgrounds, while others change colours. Several species have bright colours on their underparts that flash when the frog moves, possibly confusing enemies or serving as a warning of the frog's toxicity. Most frogs eat insects (insect), other small arthropods (arthropod), or worms (worm) (see video—>), but a number of them also eat other frogs, rodents (rodent), and reptiles (reptile).

 The annual breeding of frogs usually takes place in fresh water. In the sexual embrace (amplexus), the male clasps the female from behind and extrudes sperm over the eggs (egg) as they are ejected by the female. The eggs, laid in numbers varying from a few hundred to several thousand (depending on the species), then float off in clusters, strings, or sheets and may become attached to the stems of water plants (plant); the eggs of some species sink. The tadpole hatches in a few days to a week or more and metamorphoses into a frog within two months to three years. During metamorphosis the lungs develop, limbs appear, the tail is absorbed, and the mouth becomes typically froglike. In some tropical frogs, the eggs are deposited on land and the young hatch as froglets, rather than tadpoles.

George R. Zug

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Universalium. 2010.

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