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Five Fun Facts About Bullfrogs

American Bullfrog
Photo by Sam Stukel/USFWS

When exploring the trails of the Forest Preserves, one of the easiest ways to tell if there is a body of water nearby is to listen for bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus). The deep croaking noise of male bullfrogs can be heard a quarter mile away!

Here are five additional fun facts about American bullfrogs:    

  • Bullfrogs get their name from the sound that males make during the breeding season, which can resemble a bull bellowing. The males make at least two different sounds: a mating call and a warning call to other males encroaching on their territory.
  • Bullfrogs typically inhabit large permanent bodies of water and gather into groups called choruses.
  • Female bullfrogs have a huge appetite, needing plenty of energy as they produce up to 25,000 eggs per batch.
  • The bullfrog is the largest frog in Cook County, reaching 8 inches in length.
  • Bullfrogs can jump distances 10 times their body length, and a fully grown bullfrog can jump as far as 6 feet.

Want to learn more about bullfrogs and other local wildlife? Visit one of the Forest Preserves’ six nature centers to talk to a naturalist!