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Archive for May 17, 2011

American Toads Mating

All the trilling he did paid off for the male American toad in this photograph (top toad), as he succeeded in attracting a female. The smaller male toad climbs on top of the larger, reddish female toad, clasps her behind her front legs, locks his thumbs together, and externally secretes his sperm on her eggs as she lays them. This mating position is referred to as “amplexus.” The female’s eggs (there are usually several thousand) are laid in two strings, one from each of her ovaries (eggs are vaguely visible to left of toads). Within a week they will hatch into tiny, black tadpoles.