American toad (Anaxyrus americanus) mass emergence begins
July 11, 2014 by allthingsbiological
This individual, looking like some type of early fishphibian, moved back and forth through less than ¼” of water until it encountered a decomposing piece of grass, and then crawled partially out of the water. It remained partially above water for ten minutes before swimming back into the depths. Click/double click to enlarge.
Last night temperatures dipped into the upper 50s. It was cold and the temporary pond was quiet for the first time in its three week existence. Almost all the American toad tadpoles had retreated to the depths, but a few, all showing some degree of adult coloration, moved toward the shore. Propelled by their rear legs, all showed some degree of front leg development. A few of the variations encountered are shown below.
A number of individuals had more spherical proportions. like this disc-shaped individual. Click/double click image to enlarge.
Several were much more streamlined and toadlike already. Interestingly, this individual, unlike the two pictured above, was still entirely aquatic. Click/double click image to enlarge.
Several better developed individuals moved onto the shore and hopped into our prairie area. The mass emergence begins!