Saguaro National Park
Throughout their life cycle, amphibians live on both land and water. Young are usually born in water and spend the early part of their life cycle there. As they grow, their bodies change through a process called metamorphosis. Gills necessary for breathing in water transform into air-breathing lungs, and young amphibians lose their aquatic tail in favor of strong legs for swimming and jumping. Now these juveniles are ready to live on the land!
The Sonoran Desert is dry and very hot – not a place where one might expect wet-skinned amphibians! Torrents of summer monsoon rain summon toads from their underground burrows where they spend most of the year. On July nights, hundreds of toads can be found breeding in temporary pools. Saguaro National Park amphibians include Couch's spadefoot, leopard frogs, and the canyon treefrogs which live year-round in small water sources such as rock pools and springs.
Did You Know?
"Don't call ME pig!" Javelinas are able to eat spiny prickly pear pads with no obvious harm to their mouths, stomachs or intestinal tracts due to an enzyme in their saliva. Javelinas are not true pigs, they are peccaries, which are native to the Americas. True pigs are native to Europe and Asia. Wild pigs and boars are descended from true pigs brought over on boats to the new world.