Nov 15, 2006

From Egg to Ugly

I can't believe I haven't stumbled across this critter before. Behold the splendor of the surinam toad. Like many frogs and toads, it seems these amphibians make for a favored pets among those who don't make distinctions based upon appearance.

Photos courtesy: Aqua Land Pets Plus

They are active hunters, preferring live fish to any other food (the poor goldfish sticking out of this one's mouth is proof). But they are most famous for how the female cares for her eggs.

Photo courtesy: Honolulu Zoo

After the male fertilizes the 60 or so eggs, he distributes them on the female's back. They are then absorbed into the skin on her back (see above), and by ten days later, each egg has its own little home in the honeycomb-like back the mother has grown. When they emerge in 10 - 12 weeks, they are fully metamorphosed into frogs.

Usually the only cute phase of a toad involves it being a little tadpole. The surinam toad doesn't mess around with that, though. It goes straight from egg to ugly.

Thanks for the links, Leo.


Anonymous said...

"straight from egg to ugly."

Sounds like the perfect tagline for this site!

Raging Wombat said...

I like that! I'm thinking of starting some sort of tagline submissions competition. That would definitely be on it.