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A Moment of Science

Don’t Kiss that Frog

If you’re continually disappointed because the frogs you kiss remain frogs and don’t turn into princes, don’t despair. You see, frogs are fascinating creatures, and have many advantages over the average prince.

For example, frogs are extremely adaptable–they’ve been around for over one hundred and ninety million years, thanks to leading an amphibian life. If you’re free to move around between land and water, you have not one, but two places where you can look for food and hide from predators. What’s more, frogs are cold-blooded, and some use the glucose in their blood as a kind of antifreeze concentrated around their vital organs, which means they can survive in a partially frozen state until spring, and don’t require coats or central heating. Are princes so adaptable? I think not.

Frogs also aren’t fussy eaters: any live prey will do. Some large species of frogs can gulp up a mouse, bat, or small snake in one mouthful, which is fortunate, because frogs can’t chew. If they have any teeth at all, they’re usually only good for holding onto the prey. And here’s the really neat part: as a frog swallows, its eyes sink through openings in its skull and help force the food down its throat. What prince can do that?

What’s more, frogs don’t drink–they absorb water through their skin–and some species have skin that changes color, meaning they won’t clash with your decor. Finally, male frogs are known for their serenading, which translates into endless hours of entertainment. So, if your frog doesn’t turn into a prince, remember: it might just be a blessing in disguise.

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