Curiosities of the sea toad

The sea toad, known among the scientific community as Rhinella marina , is an amphibian anurope belonging to the family of buffoons. Its large size and toxicity are not the only features that define it.

Morphological characteristics of the sea toad

This amphibian stands out for its large dimensions, it can exceed 15 centimeters. For this reason, it is also commonly referred to as a giant neotropical toad. His skin is dry and warty, with a series of protrusions on the front of his head. Regarding its tonality, it ranges from brownish specimens to those with reddish or olive-colored colors with a variable patterning pattern. In general, your belly is always lighter.

After reaching maturity, the sea toad is characterized by large parathyroid glands arranged from the front of the eardrum to the middle of the eardrum. the back, which implies the lower toxicity of the juveniles. Like other nocturnal species, their pupils are distinguished by being horizontal and golden.

Sea Toad : feeding

Reproduction, feeding and behavior

At the time of reproduction, the males are temporarily or permanently disposed in the vicinity of the springs, to try to capture the attention of the females. To do this, emit sound vibrations for long periods of time.

Copulation, known as amplexo , occurs when the male surrounds the female by underneath its previous extremities, at which time the female proceeds to lay eggs without fertilizing, waiting for the male sperm to do so. The end of the reproductive act culminates in water.

Eggs, which only have the protection of a mucous covering, are deposited through gelatinous filaments in areas with nearby vegetation. These clutches can exceed 30 000 eggs and their hatching will depend on the water temperature , which can be extended up to a maximum of one week. Subsequently, the development of the tadpoles will fluctuate between 12 and 60 days.

Sea toad: features

The sea toad tends to feed at night, in areas of dense vegetation with a multitude of insects: ants, bugs, beetles and earwigs are its main prey. However, , unlike other anurans, are characterized by opportunistic predators that can find their food source in vegetables, carrion and other waste.

In the captures, in addition to paper fundamental that sight plays by identifying prey by their movements, this amphibian relies on its developed olfactory sense. For its locomotion, it is characterized by its short and rapid jumps and, in periods of extreme drought or low temperature, remain inactive and spend most of the time underground.

In threatening situations your parathyroid glands produce a whitish and viscous alkaloid substance known as bufotoxin . This substance is characterized by being cardioactive, which can cause spasms, vomiting, respiratory problems, limb paralysis and even death in the case of small individuals.

Habitat and conservation status

The original distribution of the sea toad extends from the southern Rio Grande Valley of Texas to the central Amazon and eastern Peru.