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Bullfrog

Bullfrog Facts

Size 3.5-9 in (9-24 cm)
Speed Up to 10 mph (17 km/h)
Weight 0.6-4.4 lb (300-2,000 g)
Lifespan 6-10 years
Food Insects, spiders, fishes
Predators Snakes, fish, tortoises
Habitat North America
Class Amphibians
Order Anura
Family Ranidae
Scientific name Pyxicephalus adspersus, Lithobates catesbeiana
Characteristics Sturdy legs; moos like a cow

Main Characteristics

Bullfrog is a collective term for frogs of completely different species. The best-known are the African bullfrog and the American bullfrog. This profile deals with those two species. Both are quite large, sturdy and heavy. Even though they look quite good-natured and relaxed, they are very aggressive – particularly when defending their territory of fighting for the love of some bullfrog lady.

Species

American Bullfrog

  • Scientific Name: Lithobates catesbeianus
  • Size: up to 8 inch (20 cm long)
  • Weight: 1.6 lb (750 g)

American bullfrog American bullfrog - Photo: Chris Hill/Shutterstock

African Bullfrog

  • Scientific Name: Pyxicephalus adspersus
  • Size: up to 9 inch (24 cm)
  • Weight: up to 4.4 lb (2 kg)

African bullfrog African bullfrog - Photo: MZPHOTO.CZ/Shutterstock

Behavior

What Do Bullfrogs Eat?

The African bullfrog eats everything that comes close to its mouth and can be swallowed. A hungry bullfrog once caused quite a stir at a zoo in Pretoria (South Africa): It hopped into the snake compound and devoured 17 (!) ring-necked spitting cobras.

Origin

Where Does the Name “Bull”-frog Come From?

The sound of its calls is very deep and resembles the mooing of a cow. It uses the call to defend itself against enemies such as pelicans or nile monitors.

Senses and Abilities

How Far Can a Bullfrog Jump?

For its size, the bullfrog is a real broad jump wonder. The eastern grey kangaroo still holds the record with a distance of 42.6 feet (13 meters) on shore. But it is much larger than the bullfrog. A broad jump over a distance of 7.15 feet (2.18 meters) is an incredible achievement for a small animal like a bullfrog. This is 10 times its own body length. Can you jump so far?

American bullfrog American bullfrog - Photo: Angel DiBilio/Shutterstock

Fun Facts

Are There Any Animals That Don't Sleep?

Scientists believe that the bullfrog is the only animal that never sleeps. They put it to a not very animal-friendly test: The bullfrog was exposed to slight electric shocks. But even when the bullfrog was obviously relaxing, the animal showed the same reactions as when it was awake and active. The test results were published in 1967, and since then the bullfrog is considered the only animal that never sleeps. Yet, there is no evidence for this, and hopefully nobody will ever come up with the idea to repeat the painful tests.

African bullfrog African bullfrog - Photo: EcoPrint/Shutterstock

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