Where did it come from?!

The American Bullfrog's scientific name, Rana catesbeiana, comes from the Latin word rana, which means frog, and catesbeiana for its identifier Mark Catesby, an English naturalist.

Here is a complete classification of the American Bullfrog with listed attributes that give reason to why the bullfrog is put into each category.

Domain: Eukarya- multicellular, true nuclei

Kingdom: Animalia- no cell wall, heterotrophic, motile at some stage

Phylum: Chordata- notochord, dorsal nerve chord, pharyngeal pouches, thryroid gland, postanal tail

Class: Amphibia- "both ways of life," tetrapod, bony skeleton, moist skin, respiration via lungs and skin, require water for reproduction,

Order: Anura- Greek roots= "-an" meaning without; "-oura" meaning tail

Family: Ranidae- true frogs, aquatic or live near water, smooth-moist skin, large powerful legs, webbed feet

Genus: Rana- lack warts, excellent jumpers, large, mostly green or brown, males call

Species: Rana catesbeiana- top of page

This phylogenetic tree shows the American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) and a few of its relatives within the Class Amphibia.  There are many more families, genera, and species within the Order Anura, but the ones included below are used to show a general relationship of some of the American Bullfrog's family members.  Click on the picture below to open a new window for a closer look!

Phylogenetic Tree of Rana catesbeiana, made by me via Paint

The phylogenetic tree below shows a broader perspective of where Amphibians, specifically frogs, fit within the vertebrates.  Of the vertebrates, you can separate the animals into two groups: Amphibians and Amniotes.  The main difference between the two is the amniotic egg.  The Amphibians' eggs lack shells, whereas the Amniotes have a usually hard or leathery shell that protects the embryo inside from arid and dry temperatures.  Frogs differ from Salamanders and Caecilians due to the fact that they do not have tails as adults.

Phylogenetic Tree of Amphibians within Vertebrates, credit to WhoZoo (http://whozoo.org)

WhoZoo (http://whozoo.org)

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