Green Guide

Cannibal cane toads eat their young to control own numbers: Research

cane toad lure their young to death 9

While conservationists around the world are trying hard to balance the counts of creatures in the wild, the cane toads seem to be sharing their worries – by controlling their own numbers, not by lowering their giving births, but by killing their young by eating them up!

True, it’s an act of cannibalism among them, but, for the scientists it’s striking a natural balance they are helping to keep their numbers within descent counts, at least in Australia where cane toads are an invasive pest.

According to some Australian researchers, the cane toads wiggle the middle toes on their hind feet to lure their young. As the baby toads appear to respond by hopping towards the adults, they fall victim to their cannibalistic behavior as a tasty morsel.

Professor Rick Shine of the University of Sydney said,

[The toe waving] seems to be beautifully designed to arouse the feeding responses of a small cane toad.

Besides being an interesting find for cane toad behavior, it may also prove groundbreaking for researchers, trying to find a solution to cane toad’s uncontrollable invasion across Australia.

They can now use mechanically controlled fake toes attached to ‘freeze dried toads’ to lure the amphibian’s young to trap.

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Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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