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Amphibians

 

Toads

American toad, Anaxyrus americanus americanus.
American toad,
Anaxyrus americanus americanus.

Class: Amphibians
Order: Frogs, toads and true frogs
Family: Toads

Species found in the Rideau River:
American toad

Characteristics of the family:
This large family is found all over the world. A variety of appearances and modes of life exist among the different members of the family. Most species, however, lay their eggs in calm, shallow waters and undergo a tadpole stage.


Representative species: American toad
Description Usually brown in colour, its skin is covered with warts that may appear red or brown.
Size From 5.1 to 11.4 cm in length. As with all Canadian toads, it is the adult female that reaches the maximum size.
Distribution It is found in eastern North America as far north as Ungava Bay, and from Prince Edward Island to eastern Manitoba. It was introduced into Newfoundland.
Habitat Dwells in coniferous and deciduous forests.
Food Invertebrates.
Life cycle Its eggs are laid in long strands and develop into tadpoles. Because the tadpoles' development depends on the temperature, they may metamorphose into tiny toads at any point during summer. The American toad reproduces after its winter hibernation.
Interesting facts The American toad's warts yield a toxic poison that acts as a defence mechanism, though certain animals, such as snakes, can eat them without difficulty. It is not true that touching a toad will give you warts.

 

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American toad, Anaxyrus americanus americanus.
American toad,
Anaxyrus americanus americanus.
A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature