Shortcut Navigation:

A Frog Without a Pond

Some frogs live in dry savannahs and scorching deserts. They survive long dry periods by limiting water loss and hiding from heat. During this aestivation, many cover themselves in a cocoon of dead skin. Others give themselves a rubdown with a waxy secretion. But most desert frogs hide from heat by going underground, sometimes for years. Spadefoot toads are expert diggers. Their shovel-like feet allow them to dig as much as 6 feet beneath the surface.

During dry periods, African bullfrogs cover themselves in up to 36 layers of dead skin. This parchment-like cocoon reduces water loss by 50 percent.

Water-holding frogs from Australia store water in their bladders during dry periods. Aboriginal people sometimes harvest this water by sticking the back end of a frog inot their mouths and squeezing.

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am-5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
Maps and Directions

Enlighten Your Inbox

Stay informed about Museum news and research, events, and more!