Can frogs swim?
Besides being marvelous amphibians, we have always been mesmerized by the swimming capabilities of the frog. It’s so miraculous for a creature to exhibit such diversity of process. The amphibians depict the characteristics of both mammals and reptiles. As a result, they show such a diverse range of features. So, can frogs swim?
In today’s article, we are going to explore these swimming champions. This article plans to describe the whole process of swimming in frogs and all the attributes related to swimming in frogs. Apart from that, if you guys want to discover the sex reversal process in frogs, you can see my article, Can frog change gender?
Coming back to the primary concern, Can frogs swim? Frogs are naturally very expert swimmers. They got this specialty from their specific kind of anatomy. Mother nature has awarded them particular types of legs through which they can swim efficiently.
Other reasons include the agility of their hind legs, webbed feet, and specific body shape that is sleek, which helps them to swim correctly. The exciting thing is that humans are probably inspired by frogs and toads to do breaststroke. Can frogs swim? The frogs and toads swim in a particular way.
First, they pull their hind legs upward. To get a sleek aerodynamic shape, they also position their front legs. Now, to propel the water and as a result of moving forward, they push out their bent hind legs outwards with a greater force. This phenomenon helps them to swim like a pro.
Swimming in frogs
Can frogs swim? Most of you think that being a breaststroke swimmer, you may know about all the concepts that you learned from a frog. But, when you see it through a broader angle, there is a lot more to it.
You know, there is more to the concept of frog swimming rather than just propelling your legs. Some also strive to row by paddling their feet. It enables them to push their ankles in a specific motion for rowing.
But now the question is, “Is it easy for the frog to strive in complex aquatic life by just using these two methods? Can frogs swim? in such severe conditions? To explore how frogs survive the harsh waves and what are the other methods which the frogs use, which make them ultimate swimmers.
A researcher Christopher Richard shot these swimming frogs to know more about their swimming behaviors and patterns. He very wisely picked up the African clawed frogs, which are pure water frogs and spend all their lives, mostly swimming.
The legs of the African clawed frog are very tough and fibrous. They are also powerful creatures. So, Richard thoroughly studied these frogs and calculated their leg propulsion and feet rowing in comparison with their speed.
He found out some surprising facts. Usually, the facts we know about frog swimming are moving through their hind legs and webbed feet. But, Richard explored that when the frog used his hind legs, he obtained a speed of 0.38 meter per second.
However, the frog turned up the game when he used the rotatory movement of his feet. As a result, the frog obtained a speed of 0.54 meters per second. From this study, Richard has drawn these conclusions:
- Frogs employ their hind legs at the beginning of the swimming process.
- After attaining momentum, the frogs complete his swimming process through rotation of their webbed feet.
So, you see, the facts are much more diverse than we thought. The question “Can frog swim?” has a lot more to it. Remain stick to the article to explore more.
Do all frogs swim alike?
Due to unique physiology, scientists have an attraction towards swimming in frogs. The unusual movements of their pelvic girdle and hind legs enable them to swim efficiently in water.
Some researchers believed that this fantastic mode of swimming evolved through several generations in the frog. Even the question Can frogs swim? Does not hold well for the first generations of the frog. However, the evolution of frogs is tremendous over the years.
But, the concept of swimming in frogs or the question Can frogs swim? It is different for the frogs inhabiting diverse ecosystems. The environment directly affects the species, and thus the swimming phenomenon can vary in frogs from different parts of the world.
After studying the locomotory movements in different species of frogs, the researchers found out that different frogs have different swimming motion depending upon their hind skeleton and their feet.
However, the common facts about swimming in frogs are the movements of hip, knee, and ankle joints and the specific position of hind legs. But, the structure of frogs inhabiting the land and semi-aquatic frogs was different from aquatic species. Complex and diverse mid foot angles were the prime reason for contrast.
In terrestrial species, the kick has delayed movements of the proximal foot. On the other hand, in aquatic frogs, the extension of the proximal foot takes place in the whole cycle.
Functions of webbed toes in a swimming
We widely observe the feature of webbed feet in frogs, but that is not a rule of thumb. Not every second frog you see needs to have webbed feet. So can frogs swim? without webbed feet? Or webbed feet is a necessary feature for frogs to swim?
Most species of the frog which are native to aquatic environments are most likely to have webbed feet. On the other hand, terrestrial frogs which hardly swim may lack this feature.
Recognition of webbed feet:
To identify a frog is pretty easy, anyone can do this. Frogs have four legs; the front two legs possess 4 toes while the hind legs have five toes. On the other hand, the back legs pose five toes. Not just they have a higher number of toes. There is a fair chance they will be webbed as well. The significant sign of webbed feet is that there will be proper membrane-like structures present between toes.
Agility in swimming:
Webbed feet are a gift from mother nature to frogs. This particular kind of flappy feet helps them to swim with high speed. The feet encourage more surface area in which frogs can propel and can move forward speedily. But can frogs swim? Only by this? No, with a greater surface area comes more power. To compensate this, the strength of hind legs matters the most.
But any frog with more muscular legs and no webbed feet can not move with more speed as compared to a frog with weaker legs but with webbing. When the frog pushes his hind legs backward, the strap opens, creating a barrier against water. As soon as the frog pulls his legs back, the webbing closes in the foot, providing a sleek position to the frog to propel in water.
Webbed feet are not just related to Can frogs swim? but also related to the jumping concept. Sometimes frogs use their webbing to jump quickly. It saves them from becoming dinner to any predator.
Flying frogs has a strong relation to webbing, particularly when it comes to jumping and leaping. These frogs have extended webbing on their feet. That means more cross-sectional area to work with. When they jump, these new web works like a parachute ensure a long and safe landing.
How does a frog swim?
When you talk through a perspective of a swimmer, to swim, you need proper arms and legs to propel the water and a lot of energy as well. But, as a biologist, fishes, and frogs do swim. So how do they swim? They swim by kicking water, which we humans can hardly do. They push the water from the inner side of their feet (sole), and they kick it very hard. They will first contract up their legs and widely place the toes apart and then push in the downward direction. The kick is very much similar to a breaststroke kick, but they don’t fill or squeeze in water as we do because we cannot manage that agility and push.
Can frogs swim in water?
Frogs have to lay their eggs in the water, and for that purpose, they need to swim. Therefore they are swimmers, and in fact, most of the swimming motions that are practiced by humans are inspired by frogs. However, there are some species like greenhouse frogs; they hardly put themselves in water throughout their whole life. Because they don’t have an aquatic period in their lives, but they can still swim.
Can frogs swim in saltwater?
Frogs cannot live or swim in saltwater. The salt level in the blood cells of frogs cannot cope up with the saltwater. The salt levels can increase in the bodies of the frogs if they are kept for long in the salty water, they will probably die due to dehydration because there are chances that water will move out through their body to manage moisture and salt levels. Therefore saltwater is not at all suitable for frogs.
Can frogs swim underwater?
Yes, they can swim underwater because they have mechanisms to breathe through their skin as well. Some frogs can even hibernate at the bottom of the pond. But to survive beneath water it is essential to have enough oxygen. Even underwater, they have to come to the surface to fill the oxygen levels again. So maintaining the oxygen is necessary for the survival of frogs underneath.
Can frogs swim in tap water?
Water either from the pond or from the tap should be free from chlorine. The bottled or packaged water is best for the frogs. However, the tap water when kept open for 20-24 hours, it will be dechlorinated. And thus, can be used for frogs.
Can frogs swim in the ocean?
The ocean contains saltwater which is again unfit for the frogs. It is hard for the frogs to manage the water and salt levels in their bodies. As they can breathe through their skin as well, and due to the natural process of osmosis, the saltwater can be fatal for the frogs.