What Is a Horned Frog?

By Julia Story
Horned frogs have ridges or bumps on their heads resembling horns.

All species of frogs are amphibians. Amphibians live on every continent in the world except Antarctica. These animals begin life with a tail and gills; they survive under water until they grow legs and lungs and move on to land. Amphibians are cold-blooded and require an external heat source such as the sun to stay alive. Horned frogs are amphibians with bumps or ridges on their heads that resemble horns.



Appearance

Each species of horned frog has bumps or ridges on their heads that resemble horns, inspiring their names. However, their coloration and size varies. The Amazon horned frog can grow up to 8 inches long, while the Ornate horned frog is usually about 5 and a half inches long. Argentine horned frogs are usually green with black or red markings; male Amazon horned frogs are usually lime green while female Amazon horned frogs are tan.

Diet

In the wild, all horned frogs are opportunistic eaters. Horned frogs will eat whatever is easiest for them to find or catch. Horned frog species all have large mouths that can open wide enough to catch large prey such as small mammals, fish, and birds, depending on the frog's size. The only obvious differences in diet between the different breeds of horned frog is caused by the different species of animals living in their environment.

Habits

Horned frogs hunt by blending into their environment using their natural camouflage; horned frogs come in colors such as green and brown in order to blend into their environment. Horned frogs flatten onto the ground and burrow under leaves, dirt, or foliage, leaving their faces protruding out. When a potential prey passes by, the frog leaps forward, using a surprise attack to catch its food. Horned frogs swallow their prey in one or two gulps.

Location

Horned frogs live in warm, humid climates throughout the Americas. The Amazon horned frog is found from Colombia to Brazil in the Amazon Basin. These frogs prefer freshwater marshes. The Argentine Horned Frog is historically found in Argentina and is now also found in Brazil and Uruguay. These frogs are found in rain forests and bury themselves in the forest floor to survive through colder weather. The Cranwells frog is only found in Argentina.