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American Toad
( Bufo americanus )

American Toad - American Toad information - American Toad facts



The American toad is found in North America. They have got round bodies with tail, and smooth skin obtaining defensive chemicals. The dark skin is very thick and darkly spotted. The colour of the skin depends on humidity, temperature and stress. It ranges from yellow to black.
Most adult American toads grow up to 50-80 mm. They have four short legs with four toes on the front legs. They eat a wide variety of insects, worms, slugs etc. The pray is captured with their wide and sticky tongues or with their front legs.
Breeding usually starts in March or April, when temperatures are higher and there are longer days as well. It takes place in ponds, wetlands, lakes and slow-moving streams. The reproduction cycle starts with mating and consequently the female toad lays her eggs (up to 25 000) in the water. The male toad releases sperm to fertilize them, this is called external fertilization. After this the parents ignore the eggs.
These amphibians can live almost everywhere ranging from fields to forests. They require a freshwater pond or pool for their early development. American toads are active at night especially when the weather is warm. During the day toads hide under rocks, logs or dig into the soil. In winter months American toads dig deeper in order to hibernate. They do not drink water they just absorb it through their skin. The adult toads lose their skin approximately four times a year.
Note: Defensive chemicals in a toad’s skin are toxic to human beings therefore it is inevitable to wash one’s hands carefully after touching this animal. In the past they were used as a poison in arrows. On the other hand, these toxins can be used for medical purposes too.




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