Toads are vertebrate animals characterized by short legs, bulging eyes, and rough skin. These animals belong to the amphibians, the most primitive class of vertebrates that on an evolutionary scale managed to develop legs to leave the sea and colonize the terrestrial environment. Unlike newts, salamanders and gallipats belonging to the group of urodelos, that is, amphibians with a tail, toads, together with frogs, belong to the group called anurans, amphibians characterized by not having a tail. Apart from these, there are many more curiosities of the toad such as, for example, its carnivorous diet.
Through this article by Ecologist Verde, we propose to explain to you what do toads eat, so that you know in detail the feeding of these anurans, and also some of their main characteristics.
Adult toads have lung respiration, so they generally live outside of water. These animals are carnivores, but its most developed part within this type of diet is as insectivores, although their diet can vary depending on the size of the species. According to the size of the species, the toads eat these animals:
Although they are hunter animals, are characterized by being opportunistic, that is, they will not hunt their prey, but remain immobile and wait for one of their prey to get close enough to reach them with their sticky and long tongue thanks to their rapid movements. The toads tongue It does not have taste buds, so they do not get to taste the prey, but it only serves to hunt them. In fact, the saliva of the toads changes its consistency when it hits the prey, becoming thicker, which makes it easier to hold the prey. Most of their activity occurs at night, where they go unnoticed and coinciding with the greater activity of insects while, during the day, they spend more rest.
We recommend you learn much more about insectivorous animals: what they are and a list of examples with this other post.
Once the feeding of adult toads has been described, we wonder what do toads eat when they are little. To put us in context, the tadpole stage ranges from when the animal leaves the egg until it reaches a straight body position and the body absorbs the tail. Tadpoles have gill respiration and their main habitat is the aquatic environment, such as ponds, ponds, lakes or streams; Furthermore, they cannot get out of this environment until they develop their legs, otherwise they could die.
Unlike adult toads, tadpoles are primarily herbivores and their diet is rather limited, but this benefits them to become healthy toads. In the stage spanning their first days of life, tadpoles survive on sustenance from the yolk stored in the eggs. After this phase, their diet includes algae, lettuce, spinach, plants, plankton and other animal remains.
Toads are gluttonous by nature, being able to eat a single adult average 100 insects per dayTo be more specific, in a single night. This is why toads can become great helpers for control pest invasions.
As for captive-bred toads, they don't need to eat as much or every day, and they can even survive without eating one day. In summer they do require adequate amounts of food while, in winter, toads in captivity drastically reduce their intake and may even go without eating for a few days. In general, while a juvenile toad in captivity is recommended to be fed every day, adults can be fed two to three times a week with four to six portions of food (insect, mollusk, worm, etc.) standard size.
After learning all this about feeding the toads, we ended up talking about more characteristics of toads to discover more about these amphibian animals so common around the world.
Toads are present on all continents and inhabit a great diversity of ecosystems, including from forests and grasslands to urbanized areas, although their preferred habitat is humid areas and close to water sources, such as ponds, streams, lagoons, pools and ditches. . Except, we will not find toads neither in the desert nor in Antarctica. In adulthood, when they inhabit both land and water, they are found behind bushes, stones and logs to go unnoticed by predators and, in turn, maintain skin moisture by being less exposed to drafts.
In their natural habitats, toads can live up to 10 years on average. When they are raised in captivity, their life expectancy can be between three and four years longer, that is, they can live for about 14 years.
Toads are sexually dimorphic, with females being larger than males. Their reproduction is oviparous, that is, they lay eggs which are incubated in water, hence their preferred areas are those near water sources. An ambient temperature of about 12 degrees is required so that the mating between male and female can take place, so that the optimal times for reproduction are in the middle of winter and during spring, mostly.
Regarding their mode of movement, tadpoles move in the aquatic environment by swimming by means of their tails. Adults, on the other hand, can move both by swimming in the water and by walking slowly or, in small and short sporadic jumps, propelling themselves with their broad and strong hind legs. Even so, there is the exception of the running toad, the only anuran that does not jump; this toad manages to move through small jogs or runs.
To discover much more about these incredible amphibians, we encourage you to read these other Green Ecologist articles about Poisonous Toads: types and characteristics and the Difference between toad and frog.
If you want to read more articles similar to What do toads eat, we recommend that you enter our category of Animal Curiosities.Bibliography