Animals

Did You Know? Incredible Bullfrog Facts

Bullfrog facts are highly interesting.
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You might think frogs are gross or might be scared of them or you might just be one of the few who are fascinated by them, but whichever it is, we are sure these bullfrogs will definitely pique your interest. Bullfrogs are some of the largest frogs around us. Many kinds of bullfrogs can be seen, such as the American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), the African bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus), Jerdon's bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus crassus), or the Banded bullfrog (Kaloula pulchra). But mainly the American and African bullfrogs are the most popular. They are native of North America and Africa respectively. They can jump quite a distance while catching prey. They are not harmful to humans but these frogs have big mouths that they can even engulf small mammals or birds. They also have a habit of cannibalism. These frogs are found in abundance especially in water bodies like lakes, swamps, and other manmade aquatic places.

Read on to know more interesting facts about these amazing amphibians. If you like this article, then check out the goliath frog and the common frog.

Bullfrog

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Insects, worms, snakes, fish, aquatic eggs, small mammals and birds, other frogs and tadpoles

What do they eat?

Omnivore

Average litter size?

American bullfrogs - 20000 African bullfrogs - 4000

How much do they weigh?

1.5 lb (680 g) for American bullfrogs 4.4 lb (2 kg) for African bullfrogs

How long are they?

8 in (20.3 cm) for American bullfrogs

4.5 - 9.5 in (11.4 - 24.1 cm) for African bullfrogs

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Greenish brown to olive green

Skin Type

Scaleless and permeable

What are their main threats?

Humans

What is their conservation status?

Least Concerned

Where you'll find them

In and around wetlands

Locations

Africa, North America, Asia

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Amphibia

Scientific Name

American bullfrog - Rana catesbeiana African bullfrog - Pyxicephalus adspersus

Family

Ranidae Pyxicephalidae

Genus

Lithobates Pyxicephalus

Bullfrog Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a bullfrog?

Bullfrogs are a kind of frog consisting of the American bullfrog, African bullfrog, and many others.

What class of animal does a bullfrog belong to?

Bullfrog belongs to the Amphibia class of animals.

How many bullfrogs are there in the world?

The American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) is pretty abundant and their numbers are also increasing but in the case of the African bullfrog, even though they are still a common sight, their numbers are decreasing by the day. The exact number of both species around the world is still unknown.

Where does a bullfrog live?

The American bullfrog lives only in North America and the African bullfrog lives in Africa.

What is a bullfrog's habitat?

The American bullfrogs live in wetlands. So, they are usually found in and around water bodies such as naturally or artificially made ponds, lakes, swamps, and more. Whereas the African bullfrogs live around freshwater sources or shrublands.

Who do bullfrogs live with?

Bullfrogs usually live a solitary life. They like to live alone other than the time of the breeding season when the adult frogs come together.

How long does a bullfrog live?

A bullfrog lives about seven to nine years in the wild, when in captivity they can live up to approximately 16 years.

How do they reproduce?

The process varies for the different species. For the American bullfrog, the breeding season is around February to October in the southern regions, and May to July in the northern regions. Their fertilization happens externally and the female bullfrogs lay around 20000 eggs. The eggs hatch after about four days. The tadpoles can stay in that stage for about almost three years. While the African bullfrogs show the nature of cannibalism in many phases. During the courtship ritual, the bigger bullfrogs dominate over the smaller ones, pushing them, biting them, or sometimes even swallowing them. The bigger ones make their way to the center of their gathering this way and then call out the female bullfrogs hearing this sound, swim underwater to avoid the smaller frogs, and reach the bigger ones. The fertilization happens above the surface of the water and about 4000 eggs are laid. Eggs hatch in two days and the males take care of them. The tadpoles then have the habit of eating each other on their journey to survive and even the males taking care of them consume the tadpoles too at times.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of both the American bullfrog and the African bullfrog according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is of Least Concern. The population of American bullfrogs in many parts of the world, like, in Europe and Venezuela is increasing. Whereas, the population of African bullfrogs is decreasing. The number has been decreasing in South Africa and is extinct in Swaziland.

Bullfrog Fun Facts

What do bullfrogs look like?

Bullfrog facts are informative.

American bullfrogs are the biggest bullfrog. Their feet are webbed like any other frogs and the colors of their skin are brown or greenish-brown. They have spots of dark colors on their back. The African bullfrogs on the other hand vary in size according to their gender. Males are bigger and their skin color is olive with orange or yellow around the throat. The female variants are a bit smaller and their skin is olive to a lighter shade of brown with white to cream around the throat. The younger ones are rather more colorful.

How cute are they?

Frogs and their species can seem gross to many people. Some are even afraid of them. These amphibians are a bit larger in size which might scare people more. These frogs are also colorful which can make them attractive to the people who appreciate the amphibians. So, even though they are not that cute, they still might seem cute to some people.

How do they communicate?

Bullfrogs can have good vision and a good sense of vibration. The frogs have a strong voice. Their sound can travel over a kilometer. Their voice is kind of a low rumbling sound which sounds like a 'jug-o-rum'. During the breeding process, the courtship ritual involves the African bullfrog calling out in a deep low pitched whooping sound which then can be heard by the females and then the females come to the bigger frog at the center of the gathering.

How big is a bullfrog?

The American bullfrogs are the largest true frogs. Their length can reach about 8 in or 20.3 cm or more. The little tadpoles cannot even be called little as their length can also be about 6.75 in or 17.1 cm. In the case of the African bullfrog size, the size of the males is somewhere around 9.5 in or 24.1 cm. The females are much smaller in size. Their length is about 4.5 in or 11.4 cm.

How fast can a bullfrog move?

Frogs usually move by jumping from one place to another. Bullfrogs can jump great distances. They have the ability to jump about 10 times their body length to catch prey.

How much does a bullfrog weigh?

The American bullfrogs are large in size and their weight can go up to 1.5 lb or 680 g. African bullfrogs are even larger. They can weigh up to about 4.4 lb or 2 kg. Female African bullfrogs are usually half the size of the males.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the males and the females of the species.

What would you call a baby bullfrog?

Frogs go through different phases in their lives. They go from eggs to tadpoles to frogs. When the tadpoles grow up to become a frog, at that stage the baby frogs are called froglets.

What do they eat?

Bullfrogs are large amphibians who are predators. Some of them eat plants while some are entirely carnivorous in nature. Bullfrogs are also cannibalistic animals, they don't hesitate to eat their own. For African bullfrogs, the males start eating up the little ones along with even the eggs just after fertilization when they are supposed to take care of. Other than that, they eat fish, eggs, insects, snakes, works, or salamanders. While African bullfrogs are so large in nature that they can fit small mammals and even small birds into their mouth. In the case of frogs, their tongues are unusually large and they keep it folded into their mouth. When they see prey, they open their mouth with force and the tongue comes out catching the prey on it.

Are they poisonous?

Bullfrogs even in the tadpole stage are not poisonous but they usually have toxic skin. It may not be able to harm any of us humans but it makes them able to defend themselves from other animals.

Would they make a good pet?

Bullfrogs would not make good pets. Even though African bullfrogs can be seen as pets in many households but they require a lot of conditions to be kept properly. Some bullfrogs in the tadpole stage are taken home to show the other tadpoles the transformation process of frogs. These frogs are either taken from people's backyards or confiscated from the Asian food market. They can be easy to keep in the sense that they wouldn't need much of your attention. But, giant bullfrogs can jump to great distances, which may cause a problem in the way that none of the confined spaces can be enough for them. The bullfrogs may hit their face on the glass boxes and that can result in bleeding and if you keep another animal as their companion if they are smaller in size, chances are they will be eaten by the frog.

Did you know...

Bullfrogs along with Budgett's frogs and Pacman frogs are the three species that can be seen to be kept in captivity. African bullfrog teeth are sharp and by these, they bite humans if they are mistreated or handled poorly.

Bullfrogs due to their size can seem scary but they are not truly aggressive in nature but they can become aggressive when they are defending their homes.

If you are looking to keep them as pets, they would need a large tank to stay inside at least 20 gallons for a single frog. The tank should have a strong filter. The bullfrogs may hurt themselves when they jump against the glass of the tank, so you would need to set up colorful wallpaper against at least three sides of the tank. Adults need to be fed two to three times a week and young ones about every couple of days.

What do bullfrog tadpoles eat?

Bullfrog tadpoles eat two single-celled species of plankton, algae, nitrogen-fixing filamentous bluish-green alga, and Anabaena flos-aquae. These tadpoles also eat plants that are rich in protein.

What does a bullfrog sound like?

The voice of an African bullfrog is a low rumbling sound that sounds like a 'jug-o-rum'. They call out at the time of breeding. On the other hand, the voice of an American bullfrog sounds like a very loud low-pitched two-part bellow. They can be heard both day and night and this bullfrog call is one of the loudest frogs in California. Even the females compete with the males, which works as a catalyst for the males to start competing.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other amphibians including the African clawed frog and the Panamanian golden frog.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Bullfrog coloring pages.

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