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Just for fun: Tree climbing toads surprise scientists in Britain

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Toads aren’t supposed to be like this:

Volunteers surveying dormice and bats in trees have made the unexpected discovery of over fifty common toads in nest boxes and tree cavities at least 1.5 metres high.

Until now, common toads were thought to be terrestrial. The highest toad in this study was found three metres up a tree — and scientists say there is a chance the toads might be venturing even higher.

This is the first time that the tree climbing potential of amphibians has been investigated at a national scale.

The surprising discovery was made during a survey to search for hazel dormice and bats as part of the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme and the Bat Tree Habitat Key project…

Nida Al-Fulaij, Conservation Research Manager at PTES said: “We couldn’t believe what we found. We’re used to discovering woodland birds and other small mammals in nest boxes but we hadn’t considered finding amphibians in them.”

University of Cambridge, “Toads surprise scientists by climbing trees in UK woodlands” at ScienceDaily (July 7, 2022) The paper is open access.

Why? Researchers suggested avoiding predators, looking for food, and avoidance of parasites.

This one is an American toad but it is climbing a tree so we can get some sense of how the toad does that:

Oh, and — as we’re here for fun anyway — from The Babylon Bee, Mattel’s latest … pregnant Ken:


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