Student Question

How is a frog’s fat storage different than a human’s fat storage?

Expert Answers

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Humans store fat in nearly every place on their bodies. Over half of that fat can be found in an area called the hypodermis, a layer of elastin and loose tissue just below the dermis layer of the skin that connects that skin to the underlying muscle and bone. The primary purpose of fat in humans is to serve as insulation and protective padding for the body, as well as a reserve source of energy.

Frogs, on the other hand, store most of their fat in yellowish-orange fat bodies near the genitals just behind the intestines. Frogs are cold-blooded animals who cannot regulate their own body temperatures except with the help of these fat bodies. The stored fat provides much needed energy for hibernation, which is crucial to surviving long, cold winters. In addition, the frog's fat bodies help it float in water, as the water's molecular makeup is more dense than fat.

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