Cane toad Facts

Cane toad Facts
Cane toad is a species of amphibian that belongs to the family of true toads. It originates from Central and South America. Cane toad inhabits subtropical forests, woodlands and areas near the water. People brought cane toad to Australia at the beginning of the 20th century with a goal to eradicate cane beetles. Instead of cane beetles, cane toad managed to eradicate numerous other important Australian species due to lack of natural enemies. Cane toad is wide spread and numerous in the wild. It is classified as pest in all areas outside its native range.
Interesting Cane toad Facts:
Cane toad can reach 4 to 6 inches in length and 2.9 to 4.4 pounds of weight. Females are larger than males.
Cane toad has olive-brown, reddish-brown or grayish-yellow back and yellow or creamy belly. Its skin is dry and warty.
Cane toad has big, flattened head with prominent ridges above the eyes. It has large, stocky body and short limbs with partially webbed toes on the hind feet.
Cane toad is nocturnal (active during the night) and terrestrial (adapted to the life on the ground) animal.
Cane toad has voracious appetite. Its diet is based on insects, snails, lizards, frogs, small snakes, birds and mice.
Cane toad often steals dog and cat food from the bowls placed in front of the house. It also attacks and eats bees directly from the beehive.
Cane toad does not drink water. It absorbs dew and moisture from the soil through the skin on the belly.
Cane toad produces strong toxin called "bufotoxin" which disturbs normal functioning of the heart. Toxin is produced in the parotid glands near the shoulders and in the numerous smaller glands on the back.
Bufotoxin is a mixture of 14 different compounds. Cane toad is usually the last meal of many large predators. Animals often die 15 minutes after swallowing of cane toad.
Bufotoxin induces painful sensation in humans. Intoxication rarely ends up fatally, but it may result in blindness (if toxin gets in contact with eyes).
Cane toads are solitary during the night (when they search for food). They gather in groups called "knots" during the day.
Mating season of cane toads usually takes place after the rainy season. Males gather in groups near the water and vocalize to attract females.
Females deposit 20.000 to 30.000 eggs arranged in long strings onto the vegetation in the water. Eggs hatch after 36 hours. Tadpoles are small and black colored. They transform into froglets (young frogs) after 4 to 8 weeks. Cane toads can be safely consumed only during the froglet stage (only froglets are toxin-free; eggs and tadpoles are also poisonous).
Cane toads reach sexual maturity at the age of one year.
Cane toads can survive 10 to 15 years in the wild and up to 35 years in the captivity.

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