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Hop on

You may have seen hundreds of these tiny little amphibians hopping around on paths and in the forest....these are the the baby Asian Common Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus). This is one next to my pinkie fingernail to give an idea of size.

A group of toads is called a knot (whereas a group of frogs is called an army). There does not appear to be a different name for males and females.

Fascinating facts:

  • Toads and frogs are both in the order Anura, but while toads and frogs are biologically the same, there are some key differences between them. Toads are associated with a drier, wart-covered, leathery skin, and shorter legs than frogs. They also can live further away from water.

  • Toads are found on all continents except Antarctica and are also not present on isolated islands like New Zealand, New Guinea, and Madagascar.

  • Toads have a pair of parotoid glands on the back of their heads. These glands and the skin in general, contain a poison which the toad excretes if feeling stressed or threatened. The poison has different effects on different animals, some find it irritating to eyes and mouth, while it may be fatal to others. Contrary to popular believe you will not get warts by touching the bumpy wart-like skin or glands of a toad. The poison does not usually affect humans, however you should always wash your hands after touching a toad.

  • Toads do not have teeth, so they do not chew their food, instead swallowing it whole.

  • Toads are usually nocturnal. They burrow beneath the earth in the day and come out at night to feed on insects.

  • Toads will hibernate throughout the winter months.

  • In the wild, most toads species live on average 3 to 5 years. They have been recorded living as old as 39 years in captivity.

What do they eat? Well, as they are so small, they too eat small things, like fruitfly, small worms and slugs. As you can see in the picture below, they are currently the size of their future prey, a grasshopper!

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