Secret Revealed: What Frogs Talk About When We Aren't Looking
Brief biology lesson about frogs
The common frog (Rana temporaria), also known as the European common frog, European common brown frog, or European grass frog, is a semi-aquatic amphibian of the family Ranidae, found throughout much of Europe as far north as Scandinavia and as far east as the Urals, except for most of Iberia, southern Italy, and the southern Balkans. The farthest west it can be found is Ireland, where it has long been thought, erroneously, to be an entirely introduced species. They are also found in Asia, and eastward to Japan.
Common frogs metamorphose through three distinct developmental life stages — aquatic larva, terrestrial juvenile, and adult. They have corpulent bodies with a rounded snout, webbed feet and long hind legs adapted for swimming in water and hopping on land. Common frogs are often confused with the common toad Bufo bufo, but frogs can easily be distinguished as they have longer legs, hop, and have a moist skin, whereas toads crawl and have a dry 'warty' skin. The spawn of the two species also differs in that frogspawn is laid in clumps and toad spawn is laid in long strings.
Types of frogs
There are a limitless amounts of frogs that are living in abundance on the earth. Some frogs are well-known while others are not as used to being in the spotlight. To list a few there are:
- Tomato frogs
- Grass frogs
- Poison dart frogs
- Poison skin frogs
- Bird frogs (able to spew a spray of water from the water and hit a common sized bird into the water)
Along with being specimens of study for science and medical purposes, the frog is beneficial to the human ecosystem as well as the relevance of and to life itself.
Now for the mysterious
news that may astound you. Hardly anyone is not used to hearing the sometimes-harmonious croaking, squeaking, and whistling that frogs make mostly in the night. What most laymen do not realize is that frogs, in this confusing system of croaks and other noises, are simply communicating with other frogs.
What are they saying is still up for discovery for the scientific world, but thanks to a mysterious document that I stumbled upon, I found out the secret of what our friends the frogs are really saying when we are not looking.
- "Flies again? Margaret, is this all you can make for me after a long day of drifting around on my lilypad?"
- "Frank, aren't you feeling well? Your skin looks more greener than usual."
- "Me? Oh, I like midnight swims, jumping on the beach, and croaking with the guys in the woods."
- "Oh, since you are new to this pond, I need to warn you about that angry old "Mack," what a croc!"
- "Jim, are you making eyes at that new waitress with red spots on her back?"
- "What do you mean, leaving me? And you are taking the tadpoles with you?"
- "Bob, hate to make a big thing of nothing, but you were a bit off on your last 'rib-it'"
- "Tommy, stop blowing up your throat. It's going to burst one day and you will sink like a stone."
- "Oh, rats! Here comes that Frenchman from the restaurant trying to catch a gang of us for his froglegs dish!"
- "Jeannie, you make me so angry! Now's the time that I wish I had teeth."
- "Anybody seen the latest episode of Hoppity Hooper?"
- "I tell you that if my husband, Ted, doesn't cut back on mosquitoes, he is headed for a weight problem."
- "Croak! Croak! Croak! Is that all you can sing? Got any CD's by The Beatles?"
- "Speaking of Beatles, say, have you eaten at that new restaurant on Fifth Street? Their main dish is baked grasshoppers and dung beetles. Yummm."
- "Ha, ha! Jimmy? Married? No way. He always hopping from one girl's lilypad to the other."
- "Kermit this! Kermit that! Janie why didn't you marry Kermit? I am so tired of being compared to that green "glory frog."
- "Gee, what slick skin you have, sweetie."
- "Alright, who dumped the sewer in the pond again? Was it that stupid city sewer department?"
- "Just look at all of those flies sitting on Dave's back. Yeah, he's got a magnetic personality."
- "Andy, why the long face? Awww, it's just that I am fed up with that stupid saying about 'if a frog had wings, it wouldn't bump its butt each time he jumped.' Know what I mean?"
- "Ohh, Jimm-eeee, got some big news for you! Oh, no! You're not with tadpoles again? I can barely feed the ones we got."
- "Uhhh, let's get out of here and go back to my log and we can enjoy some of my imported dragonfly snacks."
- "Baby, where did you get that tongue? It's got to be a foot long." "Hun, I have to have a long tongue. Those gnats fly so fast I need an edge."
- (Inside an aquarium in a pet store) "Hey, get away from that glass, Bruce! Everyone knows that it's my turn to look cute and get some little cute kid to adopt me. I can't wait either. When I do get out of here, no more flies for lunch, no more listening to all of your annoying croaking all night and I don't mean to be ugly, but Daryle, you stink!"
- "Oh, no. Here comes that 'snake in the grass' Bill Boa ready to swallow as many of us as he can hold."
- "Hey, what are you eating? Oh, just a few ants. What's the big deal? Well, big shot! The big deal is that those ants you think are food items, help us to find the nearest picnics and you know the tasty crumbs that those clumsy humans drop in the grass."
- "Anyone for Deep Reed Diving? Down in Hawaii, my uncle holds a few records in this sport."
- "Darn those cat tails in bloom again. Ah-choo! What a time for my allergy to act up."
- "Oh, Larry! Have you seen the new waitress at The Pad? She's got the longest, prettiest legs I've ever seen on a girl frog."
- "Jeff, sorry about your brother being used for studies in Biology. Thanks, Mark. He always wanted to leave his mark on the world of science."
- "Hey, did ya'll hear about poor Nathaniel? Well, you've all heard about that saying about if you put a frog into a pan of cool water and gradually increase the heat, the frog will not know the difference? Well, that dimwit they were talking about was Nathaniel. Bless his heart."
- "Well, that explains his son, Jason yelling to us yesterday, "Look out! Here comes Super Frog!" and then jumping from the roof of a house thinking he could fly like those flying squirrels." "Was he injured? No. He landed on his head."
- "Anyone want to listen to my new song? Here goes. "Yodel--a--lad-eee Croooakkk!"
- "Wait! Don't hop off! Here's a song that I remade. Oh, give me a home where the bullfrogs don't roam and the snakes and crocodiles don't play."
- "So it was you who told Linda that I tried to jump Tina, the new secretary. What a big mouth you have, Carl!"
- "That was so good of Burt Reynolds to give Sally Field the nick-name of "Frog" in "Smokey and The Bandit."
- "Well, I'm going to hop on out of here. I got flies to catch and tadpoles to raise."
Thanks, my friends, for reading my offerings.
And a peaceful good night, Gadsden, Alabama.
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© 2017 Kenneth Avery