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1. frog


Sinonimi: toad | toadfrog | anuran | batrachian | salientian

ETYM AS. froggu, frocga a frog (in sensel); akin to Dutch vorsch, Old High Germ. frosk, German frosch, Icel. froskr, fraukr, Swed. and Dan. frö.
Any of various tailless stout-bodied amphibians with long hind limbs for leaping; semiaquatic and terrestrial species; SYN. toad, toadfrog, anuran, batrachian, salientian.
Any amphibian of the order Anura (Greek “tailless”). There are some 24 different families of frog, containing more than 3,800 species. There are no clear rules for distinguishing between frogs and toads.
Frogs usually have squat bodies, hind legs specialized for jumping, and webbed feet for swimming. Many use their long, extensible tongues to capture insects. They vary in size from the tiny North American little grass frog Limnaoedus ocularis, 12 mm/0.5 in long, to the giant aquatic frog Telmatobius culeus, 50 cm/20 in long, of Lake Titicaca, South America. Frogs are widespread, inhabiting all continents except Antarctica, and they have adapted to a range of environments including deserts, forests, grasslands, and even high altitudes, with some species in the Andes and Himalayas existing above 5,000 m/19,600 ft.
Courtship and reproduction.
In many species the males attract the females in great gatherings, usually by croaking. In some tropical species, the male’s inflated vocal sac may exceed the rest of his body in size. Other courtship “lures” include thumping on the ground and “dances”.
Some lay eggs in large masses (spawn) in water. The jelly surrounding the eggs provides support and protection and retains warmth. Some South American frogs build little mud-pool “nests”, and African tree frogs make foam nests from secreted mucus. In other species, the eggs may be carried in pockets on the mother’s back, or brooded by the male in his vocal sac, or, as with the Eurasian midwife toad Alytes obstetricans, carried by the male, wrapped round his hind legs until hatching.
Certain species of frog have powerful skin poisons (alkaloids) to deter predators. “True frogs” are placed in the worldwide family Ranidae, of which the genus Rana is the best known. The North American bullfrog Rana catesbeiana, with a croak that carries for miles, is able to jump nine times its own length (annual jumping competitions are held at Calaveras, California, US). The flying frogs, genus Rhacophorus, of Malaysia, using webbed fore and hind feet, can achieve a 12 m/40 ft glide.
A four-year study of rainforest in E Madagascar revealed 106 new frog species 1995.
Threat of extinction.
Fourteen species of frog have disappeared from Australian rainforest 1979–1994. Frogs at higher altitudes have declined significantly worldwide. Australian biologists suggested 1995 that a virus, called iridovirus, may be responsible.

2. little frog


3. toad


ETYM Old Eng. tode, tade, AS. tâdie, tâdige; of unknown origin. Related to Tadpole.
(Homonym: toed, towed).
Any one of numerous species of amphibians belonging to the genus Bufo and allied genera, especially those of the family Bufonid. Toads are generally terrestrial in their habits except during the breeding season, when they seek the water.
Any of the more terrestrial warty-skinned members of the tailless amphibians (order Anura). The name commonly refers to members of the genus Bufo, family Bufonidae, which are found worldwide, except for the Australian and polar regions.
The American toad B. americanus reaches 9 cm/3.5 in and is found from suburban backyards to mountain wildernesses throughout the NE US.

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