I've seen a video in this link, where two frogs fight. One of commenters asks

How...exactly...does one establish dominance in their world? I mean, they’re fat, slippery, no claws, their teeth are practically vestigial, they are hard to drown—although it is possible—so...how does one frog or toad kick another’s ass?

And this is exactly my question

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    $\begingroup$ Some frogs do have claws. Also, frogs have a hard lip with sharp-ish tooth-like ridges on them. I've been bitten by frogs before, it can hurt... $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Dec 17, 2020 at 17:51
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    $\begingroup$ What attempts to answer this question have you already taken? We ask that all question posters here attempt to search for an answer to their own question and explicitly indicate what research they've already done, what they learned, and what is still confusing or unknown to them. Our goal is not to simply be an answer site, but rather a site that promotes self-learning with some expert help along the way :). Please take a moment to edit your post with this additional detail, and it will likely be received more positively by our community. Thanks! $\endgroup$ Dec 21, 2020 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ Also, as is made clear from MattDMo's comment and answer, this question is probably too broad and we'd almost certainly expect different species to behave differently. $\endgroup$ Dec 21, 2020 at 20:39

1 Answer 1


I found this article ([free PDF on ResearchGate) from 1989 in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology entitled "Fighting, assessment, and frequency alteration in Blanchard's cricket frog". The author analyzed the sound wave frequency of the frogs' dominant call to see if it negatively correlated with fighting. In other words, were the frogs with deeper calls better fighters, and did other frogs use that to decide whether or not to fight?

Larger frogs have deeper calls, and smaller frogs tended to retreat from broadcasts of a synthetic low frequency call, which indicated a large male. In contrast, frogs attacked a high-pitched call, which indicated their "opponent" was smaller. He also found that small frogs modulated their call to appear bigger to their opponent – they bluff.

Fighting (which was apparently only between males) was initiated when one frog was calling and another nearby kept calling after a series of calls from the first that were increasingly aggressive. The first frog would search for his opponent, and

When contact was made, a male moved onto the dorsum of his opponent and attempted to grasp the lower male with his forelimbs. Contact rarely lasted for more than a few seconds and was terminated by the lower male jumping away. Such wrestling bouts were followed by another period of aggressive calling, continued wrestling, [and terminated] by either retreat or satellite behavior by one of the males. Wrestling contests were generally short, lasting from 1–18 s (N=15, $\bar x$=7.2, SE=1.42), and they were composed of from 1 to 6 bouts (N=9, $\bar x$=2.7, SE=0.58).

So, it looks like these particular frogs fight by wrestling until one of them either leaves or adopts submissive "satellite behavior". I don't know if this is representative of all frog species, but it sounds reasonable.


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