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The North American Bullfrog may become Missouri state amphibian

January 24, 2005
By: Elizabeth Baird
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - The croak of the bullfrog may soon become the new call of the wild here in Missouri.

A bill proposed by Rep. Susan Phillips (R-Kansas City) would make the North American Bullfrog the official state amphibian.

"You can't go outside on a Missouri summer night and not hear the bullfrogs singing," Phillips said.

She said the idea came from a group of elementary students in Kansas City she spoke to last spring.

"Really,the idea didn't originate with me," Phillips said. "It was all them."

The bullfrog would join two other aquatic state symbols, the Paddlefish and the Channel Catfish, as well as the Hadrosaur, the state dinosaur.

Phillips was surprised to learn to a Columbia University study classified the frog as cannibalistic.

"I can only imagine the questions I would get on the house floor" Phillips said.

Despite the animal's questionable taste, Phillips said she remained confident her proposal would pass into law and that she plans to do her best to prevent the bill from croaking.

"The students made every representative bullfrogs holding American flag pins," Phillips said. "I'll have to pass those out."

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