Can you get warts from frogs? Will toads pee on you if you pick them up? There are a lot of myths surrounding our common amphibian friends, and not all of them are true.
Warts from Frogs
You won't get warts from handling frogs and toads. It's the appearance of these animals, toads in particular, that gives rise to the myth. Toads and frogs don't drink water; they absorb it through their skin. Since toads spend most of their lives on dry land, they've developed very rough skin that looks like warts to keep them from dehydrating.
Warts are actually caused by a virus that's spread through close contact with other people. The only time you'd need to worry about handling a frog is if you encountered a Poison Dart Frog in South America. These tiny,colorful amphibians secrete a powerful poison that can kill humans.
Catching toads is a popular activity for kids. Nearly every child has either had a toad "pee" on their hand or watched it happen to someone else. How disgusting!
In reality, toads don't pee on people's hands. Instead, they release the water that they're holding in their water bladder when they get scared. This makes their bodies lighter so they can escape more easily. You should still wash your hands thoroughly after you've handled a toad, since it's probably been in some damp, mucky places.
There's no way to guarantee that a toad won't spray water on you, but holding them gently and keeping your hands still may help to keep them calm. Don't squeeze too hard or hold the toad for too long.
The Frog as Meteorologist
Many myths have surrounded frogs and weather patterns through the centuries. The appearance of frogs at certain times of year was once believed to be an accurate predictor of rain or drought. Some cultures even believed that frogs could tell when it would rain.
It turns out that some of these myths are true. Frogs have an exceptionally high sensitivity to humidity. They need water to stay alive and are very good at finding it. In the hours before a rain storm, frogs sense the increased humidity in the air. Some species even have a specific rain croak that will let you know if showers are on the way.
These fun facts about frogs will help kids understand the amazing abilities of these tiny animals.
What do frogs need to survive? Answering this question is the first step to keeping a frog as a pet.