There is a method that goes into frogs shedding skin. For frogs, it is a way of life. Unlike humans or other mammals whose skin grows continually with the body. Frogs’ skin does not. Instead, as they grow, they will ditch the old outer layer of skin and start over.
So, do frogs shed their skin? Frogs shed their skin and do so to keep their skin from hardening. Frogs “breath” through their skin when in water. Frequent renewal of the skin prevents the skin from hardening and becoming less permeable to oxygen. They then proceed to eat their skin not to lose important nutrients. Shedding skin frequently can cause a loss of nutrients and frogs can prevent that by eating and digesting their skin which holds calcium and other nutrients.
Shedding skin is a unique way for frogs to stay healthy and live a
The natural process
Most frogs shed relatively easy and do so regularly. So don’t confuse this natural process with skin disease. When a frog is ready to shed, it creates a rip in the old skin by moving himself into a scrunched up or crouching position. This way he can stretch himself so that the old skin can come off. When the skin comes off, you will notice a strange phenomenon where the frog starts to eat his own skin.
Don’t be alarmed about this because this is a natural process. You see, frequent shedding can cause a loss of nutrients. To recover from this, the frog eats his own skin which is a good source of calcium and other nutrients.
When your frog is done shedding the patterns, and the colors will be at their most vibrant. This can be a fun time for you to watch how beautiful your frog really is!
So, shedding is a normal thing for frogs. As long as you take good care of your frog, there isn’t really anything wrong with frequent shedding. But I have to mention that if you find something unusual and you think there is something else going on besides shedding, go ask a specialized veterinarian. They can tell you what is happening with your frog and if all that is happening is normal.
Aiding Your Frog’s Shed
You may want to help your frog shed by taking some skin off of him. I strongly recommend leaving your frog to itself. Just give the frog time to shed and make sure he can do that in a safe environment. If he seems not to be shedding or very fast, you may want to consult with your vet.
Signs of an oncoming shed
When you’re new to the frog world and just got your new frog, it is normal to have many questions. Lately, I get the question: What are the signs of a shedding frog? more and more… So here is my answer.
The signs of a shedding frog are not like reptiles. The only thing the frog will do is getting in a scrunched or crouched position and then stretch. And, the frog will puff up like a balloon, then let the air out and then take the skin off like a shirt towards the mouth so that he can easily eat it.
Shedding skin to get rid of a disease
Did you know that shedding skin is a way to get rid of diseases for frogs? Recent research finds that due to climate change, new infectious diseases appear and that this may lead to further extinctions of frogs. However, the study also found that shedding skin can help get rid of a disease. Let me elaborate on that further…
The University of Queensland did research about shedding in frogs as an immune defence mechanism. They did this to understand the role of the skin against diseases better.
The Lead researcher, Dr. Rebecca Cramp said that not only frogs but also the amphibian populations worldwide are declining because of the appearance of infectious diseases which are a result of climate change.
For this study, the researcher studied the Green tree frog. They choose this frog because it is prone to a fungal skin disease called chytridiomycosis. This particular skin disease contributes to a large number of amphibian deaths around the globe.
This skin disease lives on the outermost layer of the skin. The skin which is periodically shed by frogs.
The results showed that when frogs shed their skin, the number of the remaining harmful microbes is significantly reduced. The problem is, however, that also the helpful microbes on the skin reduced significantly. The loss of protective microbes may allow other pathogens to take hold of the frog.
So, the study shows that the frequency of shedding can be an essential factor in skin-based diseases.
Another great find is the fact that temperature and not humidity had a significant effect on the frequency of shedding the skin. The animals that live in a cooler temperature take twice as long between sheddings.
This can explain why there are much more frog deaths from this particular disease appear in colder regions, higher altitudes and during cooler times of the year.
To find the study and learn more about the topic you can click here
Fungal disease and shedding
As you may know, frogs are susceptible to many fungal infections. Most of them you can recognize as fuzzy or cottony patches or sores on the frog’s skin. But here is something important I want you to know. You should not confuse this with shedding! When a frog sheds, the skin comes off as a whole. When they are shedding in patches, it is more likely a fungal infection, and you should take care of your frog.
More Facts About the Skin of a Frog
Did you know that the skin of frogs is exceptional? They don’t just wear it, but they drink and breath through it too. To give you an example… Other animals need to drink water. Just like we do. Frogs, however, absorb most of the water they need through their skin.
This is not the only thing the skin can do. Frogs also rely on the skin for getting extra oxygen (in addition to the air they get in from their lungs). By absorbing water through their skin.
A frogs skin is what they call ‘permeable,’ this means it can let water in and out. This is, as I said above, why they don’t often drink with their mouths. They have a ‘seat pouch,’ an area on their belly that is specifically designed for absorbing water. They can do this both direct from water or from wet surfaces.
Now that you know that the skin of a frog is very important, it is also good to know that they need to take good care of the skin or they might suffocate. Sometimes you’ll find frogs that are slimy. This is because the skin secretes mucus to keep the skin wet.
Now even though they can do all that, they still need to be close to water. Toads, on the other hand, have a much tougher skin that doesn’t dry out. Well, at least not as fast as with frogs. So they can live farther away from water.
Is shedding painful for frogs? I can imagine that the frog feels uncomfortable and the skin might itch, but the shedding itself isn’t painful at all.
Can I see my frog shedding? The layer of skin being shed is transparent. This means that you can hardly see the shedding going on.
What is molting? In biology, Molting, sloughing, and shedding are the exact same thing. In many invertebrates, they call in ecdysis. This is just how the animal periodically casts off a part of his body (in frogs you know that this is the outer layer of the skin). In other animals, this can be hair, feathers, fur, wool or other external layers. In some insects this can be his wings or, when we talk about arthropods, it can even be the entire exoskeleton. This he does either at specific times of the year or at particular points in its life cycle.