Nature has some of the weirdest creations to offer. One such creation is the Suriname Toad. This toad belongs to the Pipa genus and is one of the only 7 groups that belongs to this genus.
All these 7 groups very unusual with a flattened body but when it comes to the Suriname toad, it features a distinctive flattened body that makes it easily identifiable. Now you may ask what a ‘genus’ is? Genus is actually a category used in taxonomy. This category falls below family but above species and consist of species that share common characteristics.
Getting back to our unusual toad, the question is, what is so unusual about it? This is precisely what we intend to find out in this list of 30 interesting Suriname toad facts. You ready?
Interesting Suriname Toad Facts: 1-5
1. The Suriname Toad is a distinctive South American amphibian which, instead of sitting up on its front limbs, adopts a splayed position wherein its legs and arms stay pointed outwards.
2. This toad feature very cheerless colors with its upper parts and head featuring mud-brown to blackish brown colors.
3. Now, this color isn’t just a color because there has to be some color. The color actually helps with camouflage, allowing the Suriname Toad to hide in dark mud of aquatic habitat.
4. The underside of the Suriname Toad is somewhat less dull with pale brown skin coated with white spots or the skin may be whitish with brown stripes.
5. Flat body and outward-stretching limbs are not the only weird features of the Suriname Toad. There are more. For instance, it has small triangular head with tiny eyes located on head’s upper surface and are always directed upwards. These eyes are lidless. These weird features give the toad a star-gazing appearance.
Interesting Suriname Toad Facts: 6-10
6. Short tentacles or skin flaps are found on the jaw corners on upper lip close to its eyes. These tentacles can also be found on its chin.
7. Small wart-like projections cover the entire skin of the Suriname toad but despite these warts, the skin is significantly slippery in texture.
8. Suriname Toad is extremely powerful swimmer with its hind legs being very muscular and large. The hind limbs are webbed and help in swimming. The forelimbs on the other hand are not webbed.
9. The forelimbs feature long fingers with flesh lobes. This is also an evolutionary feature. The toad uses its forelimbs for sweeping food into its mouth.
10. Talking of mouth, the reason they sweep food into their mouth is that they do not have tongue to pull food inside!
Interesting Suriname Toad Facts: 11-15
11. Suriname Toad is sexually dimorphic. Males and females show subtle differences with males being usually smaller in size than females.
12. Talk of weirdness and the Suriname Toad has more to offer. The breeding system adopted by the toad is very elaborate and usually the season starts with the onset of rainy season.
13. The males do not croak like usual toads. They instead make a series of calls that sound more like metallic ticking.
14. As the females come out the males grasp them in a special position known as amplexus. However, if a female toad isn’t ready for mating, it will let the male toad know the same by quivering.
15. Amplexus lasts for very long, which is usually 12 hours or more. It is during the amplexus that the male and the female toads perform a series of somersaults.
Interesting Suriname Toad Facts: 16-20
16. During somersaults when both the toads are on their back, the female lays eggs. She lays 3-10 eggs that fall on the male’s belly.
17. The male then loosens its grip slightly, allowing the eggs to roll on to the spongy and soft back of the female and stick there.
18. The male fertilizes the eggs as they roll on to the back to the female. The entire process is then repeated around 18 times resulting in 60 to 100 eggs being laid and fertilized.
19. Once all eggs are laid and fertilized, the male swims away leaving the female motionless. This is when the skin on the female’s back starts swelling to eventually completely engulf the eggs with each egg having its own pocket covered with horny lid.
20. This is when the back of the female takes a honeycomb look. The pockets where the eggs stay are known as brooding pouch.
Interesting Suriname Toad Facts: 21-25
21. The entire process of birth then takes place inside the pouch until the tadpoles transform into toadlets. This takes about 3-4 months.
22. After 3-4 months, the toadlets come out by erupting through the skin on the female’s back. Once out they start looking for food and don’t need any further care from the mother toad.
23. As far as the lifestyle of the Suriname Toad is concerned, it mostly lives an aquatic lifestyle, spending most of its time in water. They protect themselves from predators by using their body color that matches the color of the color of mud underwater.
24. Their specially designed eyes allow them to look in all directions and thereby allowing them to detect any threat coming from any direction.
25. Suriname Toad is a tropical South American native and can be found from Suriname and Guyana and to the south through the Amazon basin including Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. It can also be found in Caribbean, especially in Trinidad’s southern and eastern parts.
Interesting Suriname Toad Facts: 26-30
26. It is an inhabitant of tropical rainforest and is commonly found in slow-flowing mudding watercourses such as pools, rivers and streams.
27. The Suriname Toad lives in lowland with elevations below 400 meters. It barely ventures out on land and can be usually found in submerged leaf litters.
28. On IUCN Red List, the Suriname Toad is listed as LC (Least Concern) and does not possess any threat of extinction.
29. Despite the fact that the Suriname Toad is classified as LC, it is still threatened by habitat loss because of human activities like logging.
30. The Suriname Toad is often collected from the wild and is used in pet trades. However, those that thrive in protected areas are safe.