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Well, this fits right in with the spooky Halloween season! I just might have nightmares after learning about these toads!!
This is the Surinam toad. THANK GOD it isn’t from the area where I live! This is a rainforest toad, that lives in the muddy river bottoms of South America.
It looks different than toads we (or at least that I) am used to. The Surinam has an elongated body, that makes it perfect to be an incubator for its eggs.
You read that right. This toad stores its eggs inside the skin on its back. *I think I just threw up a little bit*
Unlike other toads, the Surinam toad has an unusual way of reproducing. Males call to the females by making a clicking sound underwater. A willing female releases 60 to 100 eggs, and the male fertilizes them and pushes the eggs onto her back, where they stick to her skin.San Diego Zoo
During the next few days, her skin grows up and around the eggs, forming a honeycomb structure of pockets, and eventually encloses them completely. After hatching, the young ride on her back for three to four months, continuing to develop under her skin.San Diego Zoo
When the baby toads are ready for life on their own, they wiggle and squirm, and burst forth from the skin on the mommy toad’s back.
Their snouts and front feet come through first, and then they slowly push themselves out of their incubation blister (I just made that name up).
After all the little toadlets are out of her skin, the mom sheds her back skin, and she is ready to go again.
I totally see the plot of several horror films, here!
I forgot to mention. Once the babies emerge from her skin, they immediately start snapping and feeding. They may even feed on each other! Can you say, “Cannibal Toads.”
These are the toads that nightmares are made of!!
See the toadlet birthing in action below. Beware, if you have Trypophobia, you might not want to watch this.