Raccoons are omnivore animals, meaning they have plants and meat as part of their food. But meat is the predominant part of their diet, and they are known to hunt neat water too.
This raises doubt about whether or not frogs are part of a raccoon’s diet. In this article, let us discuss this question in a more elaborate manner.
Do Raccoons Eat Frogs?
Raccoons prey majorly on rodents, birds, and other critters. But when they are near waterbodies like riverbanks, they catch and feast on small creatures like snails, muskrats, and crayfish. They will also hunt larger prey like frogs along with ducks, fish, and mussels whenever available.
In fact, raccoons are one of the biggest frog predators, only next to coyotes, opossums, otters, and foxes.
Generally, raccoons eat frogs occasionally as they are avid tree climbers. Nevertheless, the nutritional benefits derived from frog meat by raccoons cannot be ignored. Frogs supply raccoons with a lot of protein, potassium, copper, zinc, magnesium, and other essential nutrients like vitamins (mainly Vitamin B and minerals).
The flesh of a frog is also a good source of folic acid which aids DNA synthesis and the production of red blood cells in mammals. And to add to the list, they also provide another important component called thiamin, which breaks carbohydrates into energy.
So, considering all these facts that a raccoon can benefit from a frog’s meat and all the important nutrients it can provide, frogs are a good source for balancing a raccoon’s diverse feeding diet.
Do Raccoons Eat Toads?
Of course, yes, raccoons enjoy eating toads. Although, the epidermis and parotid glands of toads are known to contain poisonous chemicals. Eating them can make anyone intoxicated, and because of this, raccoons are careful enough only to eat the undersides of the toads and avoid their nasty head and neck skin.
Very few animals, like rodents, have learned to flip toads over to avoid the poison.
As raccoons are one of the most frequent toad predators, they are able to catch toads on both the land and in the water. Raccoons enjoy the flavor of the toads and are smart enough to avoid poisonous dermal mucus by consuming only the lower half of the toads.
Also Read: Do Groundhogs Eat Snakes?
Can Raccoons Catch Frogs?
As raccoons are scavengers, some may think that they eat only dead frogs, but that is not true. Raccoons can be lazy foragers, but they become active predators whenever they spot weak competition or prey. This is a quality of many opportunistic predators.
Whenever raccoons spot an opportunity to catch these frogs, they would go for it. Their lightning-fast five-digit paws help them to catch the frogs whenever they have the opportunity.
Another advantage of raccoons while catching frogs or other aquatic creatures is that they don’t mind getting their fur a little wet, unlike many animals.
They can catch frogs, but they always prefer to go after smaller frogs, toads, and tadpoles, as frogs can jump and flee from danger swiftly.
Can Raccoons Eat Poisonous Frogs?
Although raccoons are considered to be not very picky about their food, they will be pretty attentive to the type of frogs they eat. Some wildlife experts even say that many raccoons can differentiate between edible and poisonous frogs.
Raccoons will be mindful and look for things like the colorful bright patterns on the body of frogs. After observing these indications, raccoons would stay away from such frogs once they think that a frog is poisonous.
Baby raccoons (kits) are prevented from hunting deadly frogs at a young age. When the kits are around 8 weeks of age, mothers take their young ones to train in hunting.
Eventually, the kits will continue to hunt the same species of amphibians, even as adults, that their mother has taught them to eat. This information will be passed on between raccoon families from generation to generation.
Interesting Fact: Despite the fact that there are various poisonous frogs in the USA, these will not commonly share a habitat with raccoons. Even when their paths come across, raccoons eating them are not very common.
Also Read: Do Elephants Eat Kangaroos?
Can Raccoons Eat Tree Frogs?
Tree frogs are not harmful to humans; however, this is not the case with pets and other wild animals. Because of this, some people wonder whether raccoons have the ability to digest tree frogs without any harm.
Raccoons possess such a strong stomach acid that they can break down hazardous elements in their diet. The stomach acid of the raccoons, combined with their extensive intestinal tract, enables food to undergo severe digesting processes.
This reveals why creatures with mildly poisonous traits, like tree frogs, do not make raccoons sick.
Can Raccoons Eat Cooked Frogs?
As we already discussed, raccoons are scavengers and omnivores, which widens their options for food sources. They can eat both plants and meat. Also, they can prey on both living and dead animals. But can they eat cooked meat too, like cooked frogs?
As raccoons appreciate any animal in any form, they can eat cooked frogs, too, but their basic diet requires them to consume meat in its raw form.
Raccoons that live in urban areas are open to eating cooked food as they always have the opportunity to eat leftovers in the trash. So they adapted to eating cooked food, too, as they had to share the habitat with humans and make use of all the opportunities.
On the other hand, raccoons that live in the wild will always settle for meat in their raw form, including frogs.
What Do Raccoons Like To Eat?
Knowing that raccoons are one of the biggest predators of frogs, it is common to get curious to know what food they like to eat.
Raccoons like to eat insects, eggs, rats, squirrels, birds, fish, small livestock, worms, nuts, fruit, veggies, and even deceased animals are also on the list.
What Other Animals Hunt Frogs?
Apart from raccoons, frogs are frequently hunted by foxes, wolves, otters, muskrats, water voles, and other small mammals.
In Summary, as raccoons are omnivores, their well-rounded diet is balanced with plants and animals. So, frogs are also on the list of their menu. But raccoons consume frogs only occasionally, whenever they have the opportunity to grab one.
Though raccoons may normally go after smaller prey, they don’t hesitate to go after bigger prey when they feel they have a chance, justifying their title of ‘opportunistic predator.’