Is A Moss Like A Frog?

Camberwell Road, London, SE5

What is it that this inviting mound of soft, fresh moss could possibly have in common with a bulgy-eyed, bouncing frog?

Well, most importantly, both mosses and frogs are dependent on an external water supply for that elemental necessity: reproduction. Frogs need shallow water in which to lay their frogspawn, so the emerging tadpoles can happily swim about, and mosses need splashing raindrops to transport their sperm from a male plant to a nearby female one.

Another thing is that mosses breathe through the surface of their leaves – i.e. their ‘skin’ – and so do frogs!…although frogs additionally have lungs, which mosses do not.

Now for a couple of things in which mosses and frogs are not so alike:

Mosses don’t need to eat anything. Like nearly all other green plants, they make their own food from carbon dioxide that they find in the air, water, and sunlight. Incredible! Frogs, on the other hand, have to have proper meals, where they eat actual food, just like we do.

Mosses can’t jump.

…and, just to be confusing, there exists something called a Vietnamese Moss Frog (click on the first photo you see when you open the link). Is is a moss or it is a frog?

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