8 favourite facts about our froggy friends

Published on: 19 November 2019 Author: Owen Davey

Author-illustrator Owen Davey talks us through some incredible frog facts that he learnt while researching his beautiful non-fiction picture book for children. 


Illustration from the front cover of the book Fanatical About Frogs by Owen Davey

With each non-fiction animal book I create, I already know a few facts before I begin researching – but I was pretty in the dark about frogs.

They've always fascinated me because of their weird appearance, bizarre calls and astonishing metamorphosis from tadpole to adulthood, but their weirdness surprised even me. They are such amazing creatures with superb unique quirks and behaviours, and my book, Fanatical About Frogs, was such a fun exploration into all my questions I had about them.

Fanatical About Frogs is shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2020

Here are my 8 favourite frog facts

  1. Most frogs have skin that allows them to absorb oxygen from water, which is why they can stay underwater for a long time without having to come up for air. Some frogs breathe entirely through their skin and don’t even have lungs.
  2. Picking up frogs can make them ill, especially if you have sun cream or insect repellent on your hands – these will easily absorb through a frog’s skin.
  3. When swallowing prey, a frog’s eyes are pulled into its mouth briefly, which pushes against the meal and helps the food go down more easily.
  4. Poison dart frogs are beautifully coloured as a warning to predators that they are extremely poisonous. One gram of poison from the golden poison arrow frog is enough to kill several thousand people.
  5. In freezing temperatures, some frogs stop breathing and their hearts stop beating, but when the weather heats up, they miraculously spring back to life. Frog zombies! 
  6. Hollywood movies with night-time scenes often feature the calls of local frogs that "ribbit", but different species around the world may instead croak, bark, purr, moo, chuck, bleat, quack or click.
  7. The largest species of frog is the Goliath Frog. Their bodies can reach over 30cm in length and they can weigh the same as a newborn baby.
  8. In early versions of the famous The Frog Prince fairy tale, the female lead throws the frog against a wall instead of kissing him.

And if you’re interested in how to draw your very own frog – here’s a walkthrough of how I draw mine.

How to draw a frog like illustrator Owen Davey

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How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey
How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey
How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey
How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey
How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey
How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey
How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey
How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey
How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey
How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey
How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey
How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey
How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey

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How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey

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How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey

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How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey

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How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey

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How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey

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How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey

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How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey

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How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey

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How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey

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How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey

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How to draw a frog: step-by-step guide from Fanatical About Frogs author-illustrator Owen Davey

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