Mob Menagerie: Frog
Read it! Ribbit!
Minecraft’s swamps might feel like a place you don’t want to hang out in. There’s water everywhere, and witches abound. But this dank environment is rich in resources and unique plant and animal life – including the meme sensation and mob of the month, the frog.
Frogs are an extremely recent addition to Minecraft, joining the party in the Wild update in June 2022, which – among other features – included an extensive reworking of the swamp biome where frogs are found.
The frog is a passive mob, meaning that they’ll just chill out most of the time and not bother you. They generate naturally in swamp and mangrove swamp biomes, where they enjoy the moisture and the foliage, and that’s where you’ll find them.
While they're instantly recognizable through their charismatic and carefree appearance, frogs haven't always looked the way they do today. Mojang Studios' 3D artist Chi Wong has more to share!
While working on the frog, our initial model was larger than what we currently have in-game. We thought that what we made looked fine, but when we finally imported the model into Minecraft it just looked too large! It couldn't fit on a lily pad and looked too derpy and less cute. We needed it to be equally cute as it is derpy!
The art team sat together to tweak the proportions, squishing down the frog to a cute side while keeping the big eyes. We ended up with the cute and derpy frog that everyone knows and loves.Chi Wong
Really, now? I wonder what could have looked li... oh my!
Frogs have the ability to jump up to eight blocks in a single bound, and take less damage from falling than other mobs. They love eating small slimes, so much so that they can be bred using a slimeball in the same way that you breed other animals.
But unlike other animals, frogs don’t give birth to baby frogs – their reproductive process is a bit more complicated. When two frogs are bred together, one of them will seek out a water block to lay frogspawn. After a while, this frogspawn becomes a tadpole which will then finally grow slowly into a frog, adapting to its environment in the process. Depending on where that tadpole grows up, you’ll get a different-looking frog. Try raising tadpoles in many different biomes.
Given how much frogs like eating slimes, I wonder what would happen if you fed one a magma cube, slimes’ Nether cousin? Maybe that’s a story for another day...
In the real world, frogs represent a huge group of amphibians with short bodies and no tail. They evolved about 265 million years ago, and live in all parts of the world – from the tropics to the subarctic.
The whole frogspawn/tadpole thing generally happens in the real world too, though there are a few species that skip it. Tadpoles have tails and gills, like fish do, but they eventually shed these when they metamorphose into their adult form.
Frogs play an important role in many ecosystems – eating both plants and other animals, and being eaten by predators in turn. They’re so important, in fact, that the decline of frog populations is often a key warning sign of environmental damage. Today, more than a third of living species are threatened with extinction, and more than 120 frog species are thought to have gone extinct since the 1980s - including the golden toad pictured above, which hasn’t been seen since 1989.
So next time you see a bunch of frogs hopping about, either in Minecraft or the real world, that’s a good sign that you’re in a relatively happy and healthy ecosystem.
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- Duncan Geere