Friday, March 25, 2011

Explicit mother care of Surinam Toad

I have seen tribal women carry their children on their back in pouches of cloth. I was reminded of this when I was informed about a different kind of frog (toad) that carries its young ones on its back! It is the Surinam toad (Pipa pipa, Star-fingered toad). It is also remarkable that it carries young ones from their embryo stage itself!

Its reproductive behaviour is peculiar. When the male toad grasps and clings to the female, the mating dance starts. The female then releases eggs, as also the male releases its sperms. Eggs and sperms slide between the pair and fertilization takes place. Male secures these eggs and attach them to the female's back-skin. The eggs settled down inside the mother's skin develop into toads through the stage of tadpole.

This surinam toad is flat and leaf-like that it merges with the fallen leaves of trees. It lives in and nearby tropical streams and rivers of northern South America. Its diets consists of small fish and worms.
It is a wonder toad showing its mother care ever since its eggs are fertilized - much better than that of kangaroo, but very much like that of humans. Difference is only in the place of development - it is the back instead of belly in humans!

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