Toads are amphibians, i.e. vertebrates. Toads, frogs, and toads are the three families of frogs. Toads are heavier than frogs and have shorter hind legs. That’s why they can’t jump, but rather sneak forward. Her skin is dry and has noticeable warts. This allows them to secrete poison to protect themselves from enemies.
Toads are found almost everywhere in the world. They are especially lacking where it is very cold. Their habitat needs to be moist, so they love forests and swampy areas. But they also feel at home in parks and gardens. They are also most active at night and at dusk because they avoid the sun.
The most common species in our countries are the common toad, the natterjack toad, and the green toad. The midwife toad lives in parts of Spain, France, Switzerland, in a small part of Germany but not in Austria and further east.
What do toads eat and what enemies do they have?
Toads feed on worms, snails, spiders, insects, and other small animals. They are therefore welcome in the gardens. Despite the poison on their skin, adult toads also have many enemies: cats, martens, hedgehogs, snakes, herons, birds of prey, and some other animals that like to eat toads. The tadpoles are on the menu of many fish, especially trout, perch, and pike.
But toads are also endangered by humans. Many are run over on roads. Toad tunnels are therefore built in special places. Or people build long fences with toad traps, which are buckets buried in the ground. At night the toads fall in there, and the next morning friendly helpers carry them across the street.
How do toads reproduce?
Male toads can be heard croaking before mating, similar to frogs. They show that they are ready to mate. When mating, the smaller male will cling to the back of the much larger female. Most of the time it can be carried into the water like this. There the female lays her eggs. Then the male ejects his sperm cells. Fertilization takes place in water.
As with frogs, the eggs are also called spawn. The spawn of the toads hangs together in strings like a string of pearls. They can be several meters long. During the spawning process, toads swim around in the water and wrap the spawning cords around aquatic plants. However, the male midwife toad wraps the spawning cords around his legs, hence its name.
Tadpoles develop from the spawn. They have big heads and tails. They breathe through their gills like fish. They later grow legs while the tail shortens and eventually disappears altogether. Then they go ashore as fully developed toads and breathe through their lungs.