toad


toad
toadish, toadlike, adj.toadishness, n.toadless, adj.
/tohd/, n.
1. any of various tailless amphibians that are close relatives of the frogs in the order Anura and that typically have dry, warty skin and are terrestrial or semiterrestrial in habit. Cf. frog1 (def. 1).
2. Also called true toad. a toad of the widespread and chiefly terrestrial family Bufonidae, having relatively short hind legs used in hopping and often having at the shoulders swellings containing glands that, along with the skin, secrete an irritating fluid in defense. Cf. frog1 (def. 2).
3. any of various toadlike animals, as certain lizards.
4. a person or thing as an object of disgust or aversion.
[bef. 1000; ME tode, OE tade, tadi(g)e]

* * *

Any member of 26 genera (order Anura) of mainly terrestrial, nocturnal, tailless amphibians.

Toads have a squat body, short legs, external fertilization, and teeth in the upper jaw. They eat insects or small animals. The more than 300 species of true toads (Bufo) are found almost worldwide. They are 1–10 in. (2–25 cm) long and have thick, dry, often warty skin. Poison secreted by glands on the back and warts irritates the eyes and mucous membranes of predators. Some species' poison can paralyze or kill animals as large as dogs, but toads do not cause warts. Toads reproduce by laying in water two long jelly tubes containing 600–30,000 eggs. The genus Nectophrynoides contains the only anurans that bear live young. See also frog, horned toad.

American toad (Bufo americanus).

George Porter
The National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researchers

* * *

 any squat, rough-skinned, tailless amphibian of the order Anura, and especially a member of the family Bufonidae. The true toads (Bufo), with more than 300 species, are found worldwide except in Australia, Madagascar, polar regions, and Polynesia, though Bufo marinus has been introduced into Australia and some South Pacific islands. Besides Bufo, the family includes 30 genera, one of which (Nectophrynoides) contains one of the few anuran genera to bear live young.

 Harlequin frogs, which are also known as variegated toads (Atelopus; see photograph), are found in South and Central America. They are commonly triangular-headed and have enlarged hind feet. Some are brightly coloured in black with yellow, red, or green. When molested, the small poisonous Melanophryniscus stelzneri of Uruguay bends its head and limbs over its body to display its bright orange hands and feet. This position may be a method of warning the intruder of the toxicity of the toad.

 True toads, of which the American toad (Bufo americanus; see photograph) and the European toad (B. bufo) are representative, are stout-bodied with short legs that limit them to the characteristic walking or hopping gait (see video—> of toads hopping). Their size ranges from about 2 to 25 cm (1 to 10 inches). The thick, dry, often warty skin on the back is generally mottled brown. Poison-secreting glands are located on the back and in the warts but are most concentrated in two prominent raised areas behind the eyes, the parotid glands.

      The poison, which is secreted when the toad is molested, irritates the eyes and mucous membranes of many, though not all, predators. The poisons of the Colorado River toad (B. alvarius) and the giant toad (B. marinus, also called the cane toad) affect animals as large as dogs, in some instances causing temporary paralysis or even death. The Chinese have long used dried toad poison to treat various ailments. Contrary to popular belief, toads do not cause warts.

  True toads are mainly terrestrial and nocturnal. They frequently remain in fairly small areas, feeding on whatever insects or small animals they can catch with their sticky tongues (see video—> of toad capturing prey). Most remain in their burrows in winter and during drought. They breed in water and may migrate 1.5 km (1 mile) or more to a suitable breeding pond. The eggs (600 to over 30,000, depending on species) are laid in two long jelly tubes. The tadpoles hatch in a few days and transform into adults in one to three months.
 

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Toad — Toad, n. [OE. tode, tade, AS. t[=a]die, t[=a]dige; of unknown origin. Cf. {Tadpole}.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of numerous species of batrachians belonging to the genus {Bufo} and allied genera, especially those of the family {Bufonid[ae]}. Toads are… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • TOAD — Basisdaten Entwickler Quest Software Aktuelle Version 10.6.1 (To …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Toad — Toad: Тоуд Лейк (англ. Toad Lake) тауншип в округе Бекер, Миннесота, США TOAD Toad …   Википедия

  • Toad — one of the main characters in the children s story The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham. Toad is a rich, proud character who lives in a big house called Toad Hall and thinks he is very important …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • toad|y — «TOH dee», noun, plural toad|ies, verb, toad|ied, toady|ing. –n. 1. a fawning flatterer; sycophant. 2. a humble dependent. –v.i. to be or act like a toady. –v …   Useful english dictionary

  • toad — [təud US toud] n [: Old English; Origin: tade, tadige] a small animal that looks like a large ↑frog and lives mostly on land …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • toad — [ toud ] noun count 1. ) a small animal that is similar to a FROG but has brown skin and lives mainly on land 2. ) OLD FASHIONED an insulting word for an unpleasant person …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • toad — (n.) O.E. tadige, tadie, of unknown origin and with no known cognates outside English …   Etymology dictionary

  • toad — ► NOUN 1) a tailless amphibian with a short stout body and short legs, typically having dry warty skin that can exude poison. 2) a detestable person. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • toad — [tōd] n. [ME tode, var. of tadde < OE tadde, tadige] 1. any of several families of tailless, leaping anuran amphibians (esp. family Bufonidae) with a rough, warty skin: normally they eat insects and live on moist land but when breeding they… …   English World dictionary

  • TOAD — У этого термина существуют и другие значения, см. Тоад. Toad Тип Database management/development Автор Quest Software Операционная система Windows Последняя версия 10.6 (2010.09.16) Сайт …   Википедия


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.