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Toad
Tailed frog
A tailed frog, Ascaphus montanus.

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Amphibia

Subclass

Lissamphibia

Order

Anura

Suborder

Archaeobatrachia

Families

See text

Etymology

From the Latin archaeos (ancient) and Greek batrachos (frog).

Fossil Range

Middle Jurassic-Present

Toads are frogs in the suborder Archaeobatrachia. Contrary to popular belief, toads are placed in the same order as frogs; in fact the definition of toad is becoming a matter of debate. In popular culture, toads are simply frogs with dry, warty sking; however taxonomically, to be considered a toad a frog must be classed in the Archaeobatrachia suborder. A distinction is often made between frogs and toads by their appearance, prompted by the convergent adaptation among so-called "toads" to dry habitats. Many "toads" have leathery skin for better water retention, and brown coloration for camouflage. Their skin also includes wart-like parotoid glands. Contrary to popular belief a toad's "warts" cannot transmit warts by handling or skin contact, in fact their skin's bumps or "warts" are for blending in with their environment. They also tend to walk on foot, unlike frogs which jump, and they burrow in winter to hide their delicate skin. However, these adaptations are not reliable indicators of its ancestry. Because taxonomy reflects only evolutionary relationships, any distinction between frogs and toads is irrelevant to their classification.

Many of the species of toad show certain physiological characteristics which are not present in the larger Anuran group, the frogs, thus giving rise to this group. They are largely found in Eurasia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Borneo, and are characteristically small.

FamiliesEdit

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