What’s the Difference Between Frogs and Toads?

Frogs and toads have a lot in common. And some frogs even have the word “toad” in their names. No wonder people often confuse them.

Frogs and toads have some major differences, though. Frogs have wet skin. Except for some frogs that burrow, they have long hind legs for jumping. Some frogs can climb trees.

Toads, on the other hand, have dry, warty skin. They are fatter and rounder than frogs, and they have short hind legs. They may hop, but they stay close to the ground.

Frogs and toads have their own separate myths, too. People pretend that if a princess kisses a frog, it will turn into a prince. And they like to say that holding a toad will give you warts. Both ideas are popular myths—but neither one is true.

Do Frogs and Toads Have Families?

Neither frogs nor toads live in families. Most provide no care for their eggs or young. However, some adult frogs and toads do guard their eggs against insects, ducks, fish, and other predators. They also care for their eggs until they’re ready to hatch.

Some types of female tree frogs carry their eggs on their backs until the eggs are ready to hatch. When the eggs hatch into tadpoles, the females carry them and release them in a pond or stream. Female Surinam toads carry eggs on their backs sunken in their skin. These eggs always hatch into fully-formed frogs called froglets.

Male midwife toads swim with eggs wrapped around themselves. Male Darwin’s frogs swallow their mate’s eggs and keep them safe in a vocal pouch. There, they develop into tadpoles and then frogs before the male releases them.