Frogs and toads are squat amphibians common near ponds and lakes. All have large heads, large eyes, long hind legs and long, sticky tongues that they use to catch insects. Most have well-developed ears and strong voices. Only males are vocal. Frogs have smooth skin, slim waists and many have prominent dorsal ridges. In most, the male initiates mating by calling for females. When he finds a mate, he clasps her in water and fertilizes the eggs as they are laid. The eggs initially hatch into fish-like tadpoles that breathe through gills and feed on vegetation. They later transform into young adults with limbs and lungs. Toads can be distinguished from frogs by their dry, warty skin and prominent glands behind their eyes (parotids). Some also have swellings between their eyes (bosses). When handled roughly by would-be predators, the warts and glands secrete a toxic substance that makes the toads extremely unpalatable. Contrary to popular belief, handling toads does not cause warts.

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