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Interesting facts about the common toad

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We found 20 interesting facts about the common toad

Bufo Bufo

It is the fourth most common amphibian in Europe. They lead a sedentary lifestyle and rarely leave the places where they were born. They spend their days hiding, inhabiting burrows, mole flies, dense bushes and all kinds of depressions. In the evening they come out to feed. They play a very useful role by hunting many pests, including the Colorado potato beetle.

1

The common toad is an amphibian from the toad family.

This family includes more than 350 species, divided into 26 genera.
2

Distributed throughout continental Europe, Central Asia and up to the western border of Mongolia and China.

There are also North African populations concentrated around the Mediterranean Sea off the coasts of Morocco and Algeria.
3

The common toad can reach a body length of up to 15 cm. Northern populations are smaller than southern ones.

Females are usually thicker and larger than males.
4

The head of these toads is broad, with a wide snout located under two small nasal openings.

These toads have no teeth and their pupils are yellowish-copper in color. Immediately behind them are the parotid glands. They do not have a vocal sac.
5

Their body is wide and squat, located close to the ground.

The front legs are short, the toes of the front feet are turned inward. The hind legs are relatively shorter and have long toes.
6

The skin is dry, covered with small warty papules.

The color is fairly uniform, brown, olive-brown or grey-brown, sometimes partly spotted or striped with a darker shade. The underparts are off-white with gray and black spots.
7

There is slight sexual dimorphism.

Males are usually more greyish, while females are browner.
8

These toads produce bufotoxin in their parotid glands.

This substance is very poisonous to animals, and there have even been cases of fatal poisoning among humans.
9

They are active in the evening and at night, with the exception of young individuals, which are active during the day.

10

They are carnivorous and beneficial as they eat a variety of pests.

They feed on earthworms, spiders, insects, snails, small amphibians, reptiles and even chicks and small rodents.
11

Common toads are very resistant to the poison of some insects.

This ability allows them to hunt bees and wasps.
12

During the mating season, nuptial calluses form on the first three toes of the toads' front paws.

These are special thickenings that make it easier for the male to hold the female during copulation.
13

This species appeared about 3 million years ago.

This occurred shortly after the uplift of the Pyrenees, which divided the populations of Bufo spinosus, from which the common toad is descended.

14

They usually lead a solitary lifestyle, coming together only during the breeding season.

15

They spend the winter in hibernation.

Most often they burrow into holes in the ground or buildings not frequented by humans. They also winter in shelters with other amphibians, rarely in the aquatic environment.
16

The mating season begins after hibernation ends, in the spring.

According to research, up to 80% of males go to the reservoirs where they hatched. In searching for their place of birth, they are guided by the magnetic field, smell and vision. Even individuals transported more than 3 kilometers from their home returned to it.
17

The male climbs onto the female and attaches himself to her. This arrangement is called amplexus. The male can remain in this position for several days.

The female lays long gel threads of eggs in the water, which are fertilized during laying. Such threads can consist of 3-6 thousand eggs and have a length of 3 to 4,5 meters.
18

After being laid, the eggs absorb water and swell. After two to three weeks, tadpoles hatch from them.

After hatching, the tadpoles stay near the thread and feed on it, then attach to the underside of the leaves of aquatic plants and finally, after some time, begin to swim freely.
19

Tadpoles reach adult form approximately 12 weeks after hatching.

During this time, their limbs slowly grow, and their tail becomes smaller. A fully formed young toad is approximately 1,5 cm long.
20

The common toad is not endangered. In Poland it is a partially protected species.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the species as Least Concern (LC).
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