Most people have difficulty differentiating frogs and toads. It is not as surprising as it may seem if you consider how similar they both look. While both creatures are amphibians, similarities are not as many as believed to be. In fact, despite their look-alike appearance, there are existing differences that can help you differentiate a frog from a toad, at first sight!
What are the differences between frogs and toads? Do toads really transmit warts? Do they belong to the same order? Do they live in similar habitats? Aren't they all the same? There are so many questions! Here are the answers!
The first difference between frogs and toads is that they belong to different orders. You see, frogs belong to only one order called "Anura" while toads belong to several orders. Toads belong to 7 orders called: Bombinatoridae, Bufonidae, Discoglossidae, Microhylidae, Pelobatidae, Rhinophrynidae and Scaphiopodidae.
The second difference between these amphibians, which are tail-less creatures, is the fact that frogs are semi-aquatic animals that can live on land, near a source of water such as: a pond and lakes. On the other hand, toads are considered to be terrestrial creatures, preferring land to humid areas.
The third main difference between a frog and a toad concerns their skin. Being a semi-aquatic creature, a frog has a type of skin known for its moist and smooth skin while the toad, which lives in a terrestrial habitat, has a dry and bumpy skin. The parotoid glands displayed on its skin are often mistaken as warts. They secrete an irritating fluid that represents a toad's defense mechanism against predators. Contrary to popular beliefs, toads cannot cause warts in humans even when handled by them. A toad's skin is also a natural way to camouflage itself, making it invisible to their predators' eyes, keeping them from becoming another creature's next meal. This is another reason while their skin coloration mostly represents earth tones such as: brown and green, contrary to their cousins, the frogs.
Now that you are aware of the differences existing between frogs and toads, you will not only be able to tell them apart, you will also be able to explain the differences to others. You will realize that myths have been playing an important role in the way people react towards toads, believing them to transmit warts when facts prove this belief to be based on a myth rather than reality.
Here are some resources linked to frogs and toads.