The Amazing Adaptable Frog

Part of the Frogs: A Chorus of Colors exhibition.

Frogs live almost everywhere—from tropical forests to frozen tundra and scorching deserts. They sport an amazing range of survival strategies. Many frogs are more colorful than the most dazzling birds, and their voices have filled the night with song since the dawn of the dinosaurs. But the chorus is fading. As humans change natural environments, frogs around the world are disappearing.


AMNH/Taran Grant

Black-legged poison frog, Phyllobates bicolor

What is a Frog Anyway?

Frogs, salamanders, and caecilians are modern amphibians. These part-time land animals have no hair or scales covering their skin and most lay eggs in water.

Frogs (Order: Anura)
Frogs are the only amphibians without tails—they also lack necks. Most have short bodies, bulging eyes, and powerful legs. Frogs are the most successful amphibians by far. There are over 4,000 species of frogs living on every continent except Antarctica!

Caecilians (Order: Gymnophiona)
Caecilians are legless amphibians that live underground or in water. With just over 160 species known, this is the smallest group of amphibians. Little is known about their secretive lives.

Salamanders (Order: Urodela)
Salamanders have short legs, lanky bodies, and long tails. Over 400 species live mostly in the temperate zone. Many salamanders are small, but the group includes the largest of all amphibians—the five-foot Chinese giant salamander.