Information about: Anura

Index | Anura


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Anura, Ecaudata, or Salientla. An order of amphibians characterized by the absence of a tail, and including the frogs and toads. In the anura, the adult is destitute of gills and tail, and two pairs of limbs are always present; there are no ribs, and the skin is soft; the mouth is sometimes without teeth, but the upper jaw is usually provided with teeth, and, more rarely, both jaws; the hind limbs usually have the toes webbed for swimming, and are much larger than the fore limbs. In the adult anura the breathing is carried on by means of lungs; but, as there are no movable ribs, the process of breathing is somewhat peculiar - in fact, it is one of swallowing. The moist and delicate skin, however, also performs an important part in respiration. The young, or larvae, of frogs and toads are familiarly known as "tadpoles." The eggs are deposited in masses in water, and the young, when hatched, are fish-like in form, with a broad, rounded head and a compressed tail. There are at first two sets of gills, one external and the other internal; but the outer ones disappear very shortly after birth, and the inner ones are subsequently replaced by lungs. The hind limbs first make their appearance, and are followed by the fore limbs; as the limbs become fully developed the tail gradually disappears. In both the common frog and the toad the tongue is fixed to the front of the mouth, while it is free behind, so that it can be protruded for some distance from the mouth. The tree frogs have the toes of all the feet furnished with terminal suckers, by the help of which they climb with ease; they are mostly found in America, but one species is European.



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