Tiny Toads

IMG_0022

(A toad resting on one of our group member’s hand.)

For  my earth science class, we conducted an experiment that required my group and I to venture outside everyday for a week. On one of the days, it was pouring rain and we still needed to go out near the WCC pond next to the Hardwoods. When my group and I had reached the location, there was one problem, the ground was covered with hundreds of tiny toads!!! How were we going to get to our spot with these little guys hopping all around us? Walking carefully, we managed not to squish any of them. Questions about the toads seemed to jump into my mind, as they leapt from the ground. Why were they on the trail? Did they just hatch? Does it have something to do with the rain? Well, the best way to find more about these cute little amphibians was to do research.
According to Anne Woods, a writer for Animals.mom.me “Depending on the species, one female toad can produce up to 30,000 eggs in her life”. This could explain why there were so many little toads at the pond. They may have just hatched, and were looking for their next habitat. After looking at the life cycle of toads, unlike mammals, toads lay eggs which hatch into tadpoles. The tadpoles then transform into toads. This change takes about six weeks, then they relocate to  forested area. Since unlike frogs, toads live on land. What I saw, were very young toads making their migration from the nearby pond to the Hardwoods to become fully grown adults. Toadlets dehydrate easily, so during the rain was an excellent time to travel. In some areas of the world, such migration across roads, can cause hazardous conditions for the cars. As the bodies of the dead toads, make the road slick. This has sparked the creation of “Toad Roads” that run under the existing road bed to provide safe passage for the toads. Seeing all those tiny toads on the pathway, is a sight I’ll never forget.