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Posts tagged “American Toad

Toadlets Dispersing

7-17-13 toadlet 021The American Toad tadpoles that hatch in May and June begin to transform into toadlets after about three weeks. Metamorphosis is a complex series of changes both external and internal. Lungs are formed, gills are absorbed, the digestive system changes from a primarily vegetarian one to a carnivorous one, legs appear and the tail is absorbed. When these changes have taken place, the toadlets leave the water but tend to linger near the pond for days or weeks. Eventually they disperse, and by July you start finding small toads in the woods and around your lawn and gardens.


How Toads Breathe

Like all amphibians, toads breathe through their skin as well as with their lungs. When a toad is inactive the skin usually absorbs enough oxygen to meet its needs. During and after activity a toad often supplements its supply of oxygen by actively breathing air into its lungs. Unlike mammals, amphibians do not make regular and rhythmic breathing movements but bring air into their lungs spasmodically as the need arises. Air enters the toad’s mouth through its nostrils, and by raising the floor of its mouth, the toad forces the air into its lungs. (Photo is of an American Toad.)


AMERICAN TOADstool

Look closely at the base of this fungus for its true namesake.

                                     


American Toadlet

American toads mated and laid their eggs in ponds about a month ago.  Those eggs hatched and now the tadpoles are beginning to transform into tiny toadlets. For several days after developing legs and lungs they can be found in clusters on the shore of the pond from which they emerged. Gradually they disperse to the surrounding land.  No bigger than your smallest fingernail, they look like miniature adults, warts and all.