From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"The translation of Homer's Batrachomyomachia into [[mock-heroic blank verse , is in some respects , we think , superior to Addison's Battle of the Cranes and Pigmies; Mr. H. preserves the true spirit of the burlesque , with much ..."--
A reptile with edible legs. The first mention of frogs in profane literature is in Homer's narrative of the war between them and the mice. Skeptical persons have doubted Homer's authorship of the work, but the learned, ingenious and industrious Dr. Schliemann has set the question forever at rest by uncovering the bones of the slain frogs. One of the forms of moral suasion by which Pharaoh was besought to favor the Israelities was a plague of frogs, but Pharaoh, who liked them fricasees, remarked, with truly oriental stoicism, that he could stand it as long as the frogs and the Jews could; so the programme was changed. The frog is a diligent songster, having a good voice but no ear. The libretto of his favorite opera, as written by Aristophanes, is brief, simple and effective -- "brekekex-koax"; the music is apparently by that eminent composer, Richard Wagner. Horses have a frog in each hoof -- a thoughtful provision of nature, enabling them to shine in a hurdle race. -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary.
Frogs are a diverse and largely carnivorous group of short-bodied, tailless amphibians composing the order Anura (Ancient Greek an-, without + oura, tail). The oldest fossil "proto-frog" appeared in the early Triassic of Madagascar, but molecular clock dating suggests their origins may extend further back to the Permian, 265 million years ago. Frogs are widely distributed, ranging from the tropics to subarctic regions, but the greatest concentration of species diversity is in tropical rainforests. There are approximately 4,800 recorded species, accounting for over 85% of extant amphibian species. They are also one of the five most diverse vertebrate orders.
Frogs feature prominently in folklore, fairy tales and popular culture. They tend to be portrayed as benign, ugly, clumsy, but with hidden talents. Examples include The Frog Prince, and Kermit the Frog. "The Frog Prince" is a fairy tale of a frog who turns into a handsome prince once kissed. Kermit the Frog, on the other hand, is a conscientious and disciplined character of Sesame Street and The Muppet Show; while openly friendly and greatly talented, he is often portrayed as cringing at the fanciful behaviour of more flamboyant characters.