Information about: Toad

Index | Toad

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Toad. The popular name of any species of the family Bufonidae, which is almost universally distributed, being found in all parts of the world, except Madagascar, Papuasia, and some of the smaller islands of the Pacific. The common American species, Bufo americanus, or lentiginosus, is more active than the European species, moving principally by leaping. The body is swollen and heavy looking, covered with a warty skin, head large, flat, and toothless, with a rounded, blunt muzzle. There is a swelling above the eyes covered with pores, and the parotids are of medium size and more or less reniform in shape. From these and from the skin it secretes a fluid that is extremely irritating and acts as a protection from its enemies; when handled or irritated, these animals can eject a watery fluid from the vent. The toad has four fingers and five partially webbed toes. Toads are mostly terrestrial, hiding in damp, dark places during the day, and crawling with the head near the ground; but some members of this family are aquatic, burrowing, or even arboreal. They are extremely tenacious of life, and can exist a long time without food.

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