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Red-Eyed Tree Frog

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Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are amphibians (animals that spend part of their lives under water and the remainder on land). These little frogs live in lowland tropical rainforests in Central America and northern South America. Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are nocturnal (most active at night); they rest on the undersides of large leaves during the day.

Anatomy: Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are named for their large, bulging, red eyes. These bright eyes may serve to startle predators. The body is bright green and the sides are blue with pale yellow stripes. The feet are red/orange; the upper legs are blue. They have long, powerful jumping legs, suction cups on the toes, and a very short backbone. Females (about 3 inches long) are larger than males (about 2 inches long).

Life cycle: Red-eyed tree frogs spend their lives near water (usually rivers) because they must return to the water to lay their eggs. Adult males make a loud croaking sound to establish their territory and to attract females. Female Red-Eyed Tree Frogs lay eggs on the undersides of leaves (that are right above the water); the male fertilizes the eggs as they are deposited. When the eggs hatch into tiny brown tadpoles, they fall into the water below. The tadpoles breathe with gills and swim with a tail. As they mature, they lose their tail, they develop lungs (for breathing air), and they become brightly colored.

Diet: The Red-Eyed Tree Frog is a meat-eater (carnivore). It eats mostly insects, catching them with its long, sticky tongue. It also eats other small invertebrates and sometimes will even other eat small frogs.

Enemies: Some bats, snakes, and birds eat the Red-Eyed Tree Frog.

Classification: Kingdom Animalia (animals), Phylum Chordata, Class Amphibia (amphibians), Order: Anura (Frogs and toads), Family Hylidae, Genus Agalychnis, Species A. callidryas.

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