Because frogs are brightly colored, they tend to be looked on with more awe than toads. However, American toads have some pretty neat attributes when you get to know them.
Come check out Al the American toad at the Dickinson County Nature Center and see how interesting he is in person!
They taste bad.
American toads are covered in red and yellow wart-looking spots that actually contain glands that secrete poison. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you if you touch them. The poisonous milky fluid makes them taste bad to predators, and it is harmful to predators when swallowed or if it gets in their eyes.
Toads’ main predators are snakes, and unfortunately for toads, some of them — like the garter snake — are immune to their poison. They will sometimes urinate on themselves to become a less appetizing meal or will inflate their bodies to be harder to swallow.
Whether the toad has urinated or secreted, you do want to make sure to wash your hands after touching a toad, like any animal.
They don’t ribbit.
When looking at any frog or toad, people tend to “ribbit.” That’s the sound many of us learn all frogs and toads make. However, toads actually don’t ribbit. Instead they have a pretty singing voice. Listen below.
They are different colors.
You might think American toads are all brown, but sometimes they are red with light patches of green or even gray. Their bellies are even a white or yellow color. They’re much more colorful than you might think!
They eat their skin.
While growing, American toads shed their external skin every couple of weeks. Older toads lose their skin about four times per year. The skin peels off in one pieces and is collected underneath its tongue and is eaten.
They have sticky tongues like frogs.
Most toads wait for prey to come along and pounce on it. American toads can shoot out their sticky tongues to catch prey.
One American toad can eat up to 1,000 insects per day, so they stay busy eating.