Cane Toads - the low down

Now I don't mean to nit pick [it won't stop me, I just don't mean to]. But there I was, aimlessly searching the net and an article on Nat geo's web site titled 'Cane Toads - the Facts' caught my eye and so I had a bit of a read.

Well bugger me.

National Geographic had made a few mistakes ... now before we go on, I'd like to point out that I LIKE Nat Geo - National Geographic helped me get through puberty, not to mention entertaining me through endless hours in waiting rooms and hotel lobbies over the years.

So I don't want to be overly critical, [again, this may not stop me...].

The fact remains however, that National Geographic is a big deal. I don't know how many people work for them, but we can safely assume it's more people than work at your blog. It also stands to reason that some of those people will have degrees in things ... like biology.

'Rhinella marina' formerly 'Bufo marinus'

And what of the vast resources at their disposal when it comes to research and fact checking?.

Yet with all this, they somehow managed to get some fundamentals in their article completely wrong.

So before any budding herpetologists, or for that matter, fully blossomed one's are completely misinformed - here's the low down on Cane Toads:

Cane Toads are NOT venomous, as Nat Geo claims. They are in fact poisonous - AHA! I hear you cry NIT PICKING!. Well, no - it's an important distinction and to keep it as simple as possible here's a good rule of thumb. Venom is generally something that is injected into the victim, poison on the other hand is normally ingested [yes, it can get a bit grey at times, but trust me, Cane Toads do not envenomate, they poison with Bufo Toxin released from their Parotoid Glands].

Venomous? ... errr ... no. Poisonous - oh yes.

The post also asserts that Cane Toads eat pet food [I've heard this one before actually, and even 'reports' that they also chow down on animal/human excrement!].

Again, this isn't quite right. Cane Toads will indeed consume pet food and other material, but this is incidental to them attempting to eat the insects that are ACTUALLY feeding on the pet food etc ... [really, do I get an award for that observation - no? ah well ...].

And finally, but probably most astonishingly - there is the claim that 3000! Cane Toads were released here, [N.QLD] in 1935, when the actual figure is closer to 100 animals.

So there you have it - hopefully this helps someone, somewhere in their quest for Toady knowledge ...

If you want to find out a little more - click the label ... appropriately, if slightly unimaginatively marked 'Cane Toads' over there --> in the side bar or below this post ...

lol, if you look hard enough no doubt you'll find a few mistakes I've made also, but then I don't have my own Cable T.V channel ...

As I have said before, culling Cane Toads is a necessary part of attempting to keep their numbers in some sort of check. However, deliberate acts of cruelty are both deplorable and illegal. No animal deserves inhuman treatment under any circumstance. Here's a post with a little more detail on the subject: Culling Vrs Cruelty


  1. Good one Crash
    Good to see someone who knows the facts about these toads.

    In the southwestern US and Mexico where they occur naturally, they are not common and are a real tourist attraction when they are seen at night.

    1. Hi D, thanks - I always appreciate you stopping by, believe it or not, there have been times when Aussie tourists have asked me where they can see Cane Toads [after a while, ya just point at the nearest outside light and tell 'em to wait till it's dark]. Still, they are remarkable animals - damned shame they're here though.

  2. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.

    1. Hiya Truck! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Glad you found something of interest and I hope we hear from you again ... take care ~ Crash


Post a Comment