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.