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platycryptus · 10 months ago
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during a trip to Arizona last year I encountered an intriguing mystery...
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On the left is a big, toxic darkling beetle in the genus Eleodes. Abundant in the southwest, their quinone-based defensive secretions protect them from most predators (just smelling one made my sinuses burn painfully).
On the right is some sort of large animal droppings containing many Eleodes shells. I couldn’t imagine what sort of animal would eat them and produce such large droppings. I theorized that it was a pellet coughed up by a large bird like an owl or roadrunner, but couldn’t find any info to suggest anything like that is resistant to the beetle toxins.
I still had no idea what was behind these droppings for many months after the trip, but I finally realized the culprit, a beast that I had been lucky enough to encounter while I was there:
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It was the the Sonoran desert toad, Incilius alvarius. One of the world’s largest toads, it is apparently immune to the secretions of the darkling beetles in its desert habitat and eats them as a large portion of its diet.
It’s also the toad species known for the powerful psychedelic properties of its skin secretions (though contrary to popular belief, licking the toad is ineffective and extremely dangerous. Consuming the raw toad toxin can easily kill you.) Furthermore, there’s anecdotal evidence that the toads actually require darkling beetles to manufacture their toxin, which makes sense as smaller american toads have been reported to require similarly toxic carabid beetles for the same reason.
TL;DR I found some weird poop with beetles in it and was too dumb to realize until later that it came from the giant drug toads
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mylittleminizoo · 25 days ago
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This is Pudgey. She visits me almost every night & it makes my weird little heart so happy🐸
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A rare photo of the two mud monsters together without one sitting on the others head.
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We all know Frida's thinking about it though.
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funkyfrogoftheday · 2 months ago
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today's funky frog of the day: the western spadefood toad (Spea hammondii)!!!! named after the naturalist william alexander hammond, these round boys live in the united states and mexico. they usually live for around 12 years!!! strange fact: the secretions of this toad smell like peanut butter.
photo by Takwish
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dafrogblog · a year ago
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STOP
you are legally obligated to admire this picture of Frog
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that is all. carry on.
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plaguedocboi · 4 months ago
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On this warm and rainy night I spotted….
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SHE
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A BIG AND GLORIOUS BUFO
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pigeon-toad · 15 days ago
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a very disgruntled juvenile oak toad i found the other day, being very grumpy and very small.
Florida 10/9/21
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schnilf · 20 days ago
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tbt when I found this friend while skipping a pile of tiles
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feralenbyenergy · 7 months ago
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there were FIVE absolutely giant toads in my grandparents pool skimmer tonight. all of them were super bloated and were getting tossed around by the water. originally I thought it was just the first two that I found, but I had to go back because i couldn't deal with the guilt of there possibly being more and not saving them. these three were completely submerged at the bottom.. i thought they were dead. I dont know how long they were in there but it must have been hours. its crazy to me that they were even still alive. I moved all the toads to my yard and I really hope they make it. I feel so awful for them, I can't even imagine what that must have been like for them.
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