To the common man, frogs and toads appear more or less the same. But actually, toads are fascinating animals that are in unique in their behaviors and possess special characteristics that are different from frogs.
Fact 1 Description
Toads mostly live together and a group of toads is called a knot. They have dry skim that is warty and the hind legs are short. They are seen hopping rather than jumping like frogs. Although they start their life in the water like the tadpoles, they prefer to live on land. Toads do not have teeth and so they swallow their food whole instead of chewing and then swallowing. They have two paranoid glands in the skin that contain a kind of poison that the toad uses only when they feel threatened or stressed. Generally, toads that live in the wild live for only 3 to 5 years. But those who live in captivity have shown to live as long as 39 years.
Fact 2 Where they are mostly found
Toads are found almost everywhere except in the isolated islands like New Guinea, New Zealand and Madagascar. There are different species of toads. The common toad also known as
European toad is large in size. They are seen throughout the European continent extending from Siberia to North Africa. Another species is the cane toads which are native to Central and South America. They were brought to this country to fight against the beetles which destroyed sugarcane plantations and hence the name.
Fact 3 How they protect themselves
Toads can poison predators too. The toxic secretions that they have come from the paranoid glands that lie in their skins behind the ears. This secretion is very unpleasant in taste and is poisonous. They use this as a weapon to protect themselves against their enemies when they are grabbed. The eggs and tadpoles also taste nasty. The cane toads are more toxic than the other species. However, this poison does not harm humans and you will not even get the warts if you touch the glands or the warty skin of the toads. But you need to wash your hands thoroughly after touching them. Animals are affected by the poison. There is irritation in the eyes and mouth of some animals while it may cause death to some also.
.Fact 4 Nature of Toads
Toads require moisture like frogs but they can adapt themselves in dry lands also away from permanent wetlands and live in the deserts. To keep themselves cool they burrow deep into the ground and emerge during the rainstorms to eat and breed. They are normally nocturnal and stay underground during the day and to feed on insects they come out at night. Toads hibernate throughout the winter season.
Fact 5 Specialty of Toads
Toads need to shut their eyes to swallow their food. The blinking motion of the eyelids, press the toads’ eyes down into the upper part of their mouths and push the food down the throats. When living in the wild, toads can eat about ten thousand insects in a single summer season. They have sticky tongues in the front of their mouths and when they see flying insects they thrust out their tongues and the insects get caught in them. Then they toss the food into their mouths. If they catch bugs, they use their front legs to lift them to their mouths.
Toads help the gardens and lawns by keeping away insects and can become pets too. They sometimes play dead if they sense danger. So next time you see a toad in your lawn, judge the species and tame it. They are not harmful creatures.