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Frogs
 

Frogs are extraordinary creatures and among nature’s great marvels. Frogs belong in the class of animals called amphibians. These are animals that live both on land and in water.

Most frogs have a sticky tongue attached to the front part of the mouth. The frog shoots out its tongue to capture insects or other moving animals like earthworms, spiders, and the like.

The frog’s eyes are often large, and stick out on its head. Frogs have two extra muscles in their eyes which they can use to pull the eyeballs back in their sockets. A frog’s ears (called tympanum) are quite different than ours, they look like large discs located behind each eye.

Many frogs can use their large hind legs to jump twenty times their own length. These large legs and webbed toes also serve the frog well for swimming.

During the mating season, the frogs can be heard croaking. The male frogs call the female frogs to join them and start a family. Some frogs continue their croaking past the breeding season. The male frog amplifies his voice by inflating his vocal “pouch” – a balloon like extension of his throat.

 

Overcoming Temptations: "Frogs" were the second of the Ten Plagues which caused Pharaoh and the Egyptians to free the children of Israel.

When Chananiah, Mishael and Azariah (three Jewish officers in the court of Nebuchadnezzar, emperor of Babylonia) faced the choice to either bow before an idolatrous image or be thrown into a fiery furnace, they took their lesson from the frogs which plagued Egypt in Moses’ time:

If the frogs entered the burning ovens of Egypt to carry out the will of G-d (Exodus 7:28), they reasoned, we certainly should be willing to sacrifice ourselves for our Creator. (Read the full story here.)

The remarkable thing about those brave and selfless frogs was that they jumped into the fire though they are cold-blooded creatures, and by their very nature shun heat and fire. Yet, they overcame their nature in obedience of G-d’s wishes.

Is it not an inspiring lesson for us to obey G‑d’s commands, especially when we are not called upon to sacrifice our very life, but merely to overcome our natural inclinations and temptations?

 
 

 

Listen to this hungry frog say ribbit

Watch a video of Frogs

 



More than 4,000 species of frogs are known today. The biggest is the Goliath frog that lives in West Africa, which grows to be more than a foot long. By contrast, the Brazilian Gold Frog is 3/8 of an inch. Equally small is the Eleutherodactylus Iberia (it was only discovered in 1996).

Many frogs are able to change their color to match their surroundings. A wood frog may change from dark green to a light tan in less than an hour.

Frogs will swallow any moving thing that can fit into its mouth. Occasionally frogs will vary their regular diet of insects, augmenting it with with small turtles, mice, baby ducklings, and even small frogs. But unless and until the prey moves, the frog will not recognize it as food. A bullfrog would starve to death if it were surrounded by living but motionless insects.

The frog is a very fast jumper in all directions, and easily catches an insect in flight.

Frogs are cold-blooded creatures. To survive the winter, they must hibernate underground or underwater.

In 1786 the Italian anatomist Luigi Galvani observed that when he touched the leg of a dead frog with a metal knife, the leg twitched violently. On the basis of his experiment, an Italian scientist, Alessandro Volta, invented the battery, which started the amazing development of electrical science in the 19th century.

Parent's Tip: Explain that frogs don’t look like their parents when they are born; they hatch from their eggs as tadpoles and then slowly transform into frogs.

 

In Egypt, the second plague was the plague of frogs. Swarms of noisy, croaking frogs covered every inch of land and came into the Egyptians’ bedrooms, beds and even into their ovens. Some of the frogs died from the heat of the ovens. This was to show Pharoah that even little creatures like frogs do what G-d asks them to do; there is no such thing as a part of creation that is separate from G-d.


In addition to its usefulness to man in keeping insect populations under control (a cricket frog for example eats about 4800 insects every year), the frog has served mankind in the advancement of science and medicine. Thousands of frogs live their lives in laboratories everywhere.