The American Bullfrog is an aquatic animal, a member of the Ranidae family (also known as
“true frogs”) and native to many parts of North America. It is also an amphibian and a cousin to toads and
salamanders. This species of frog is extremely common, especially in the southern United States and parts of the
midwestern United States.
American Bullfrog Habitat
As is true for many frogs, the American Bullfrog lives primarily in larger, permanent bodies of water, including
swamps, ponds, lakes and more. Actually, because the American Bullfrog requires oxygen, it tends to live along the
water’s edge, not in or under the water. In fact, during periods of heavy rain, the American Bullfrog leaves the
water habitat for dry land.
The American Bullfrog does breathe oxygen. More precisely, it absorbs oxygen and eliminates carbon dioxide
through its moist skin. It also breathes or absorbs oxygen through its lungs and the roof of its mouth.
American Bullfrog Mating
American Bullfrogs are prolific. They thrive and exist in great numbers. Breeding occurs in late spring and
early summer. That is when males use their “bull-like roar” to attract females. Mating occurs when the male mounts
the female and “rides” on top of her.
Once mating has been completed, the female, after a time, will lay up to as many as 20,000 to 25,000 eggs in
water. It’s called a “clutch” and, while the number is vast, the majority will not survive. Many eggs will fall
prey to hungry predators even before they hatch. Once hatched, huge numbers of the newly-born tadpoles will also
become victims of voracious predators, including fish, snakes and birds.
American Bullfrog Life Cycle
Most eggs hatch in about three to five days. The surviving bullfrog
tadpoles will experience metamorphosis (turn into a mature frog) in as little as a few months in warmer
climates, as long as 2-3 years in colder climates.
The normal lifespan for this common green-colored frog is about 4-5
years. The diet is varied. In fact, the American Bullfrog is carnivorous, has a voracious appetite and eats small
rodents, small turtles, snakes, other frogs, birds, even bats. Dinner is quick because the frog simply stuffs the
prey down its throat.
American Bullfrog Diet
Frogs are such prolific predators that they have been known to control the mosquito population in areas in which
they grow naturally.
The American Bullfrog is a nighttime predator. That is when it does most of its hunting. It will sit quietly and
wait for its prey to pass by. Then, it will leap from 3 to 6 feet at its prey, catch it and swallow it whole.
This frog, which has smooth skin, is also territorial and will fight with rivals to defend its territory. Fights
like this are actually somewhat common.
American Bullfrog as Food
Interestingly, the American Bullfrog is not just a predator, it is also prey. People think of it as a food
source and, in fact, “frog’s legs” (the frog’s hind legs) is often thought of as gourmet cuisine. And, because so
many people enjoy dining on frogs, these creatures are hunted in the wild and also grown commercially.
American Bullfrog Dissection
Finally, the American Bullfrog has a noble calling, as well. It is dissected and studied in school laboratories
throughout North America. As a result, it is helping to develop the next generation of scientists and biologists
and medical doctors, too. And that is, of course, a very good thing to do.