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Reptiles and Amphibians - The Common Toad
Common toads have warty skin.

Reptiles and Amphibians - The Common Toad

This quiz has been kindly written by Alasdair Lemon from Froglife, the UK charity committed to amphibian and reptile conservation.

The common toad is a brown/olive-brown coloured amphibian which can be found throughout mainland Britain and Europe. They like to spend most of their time in woodland, scrub or coarse grasslands, returning to ponds in spring. A recent study has shown that this species is not fairing very well throughout the UK and populations have been declining since the 1980s. This quiz hopes to raise awareness of the common toad and teach you some facts about this brilliant species. If you want to read more about the decline of the common toad and find out about Froglife’s Year of the Toad campaign, head over to their website.

The Froglife species information pages have loads of useful information. Why not have a look before you take the quiz?


Female common toads lay their spawn (eggs) in:

Double strings
Single strings
Individual eggs
Their spawn comes in long, jelly-like strings, which contain a double row of eggs
Why do common toads have bumps (glands) located just behind their eyes?
To produce a chemical that attracts other toads
It helps them attract prey
To produce a toxin so that predators will not eat them
It's just a part of their skin and has no special function
A way common toads deter predators is by making themselves not taste very nice, they do this by producing a toxin from glands on their heads called the parotoid glands
Scientists think the common toad has declined in the UK by what percentage, over the last 30 years?
Froglife recently published a study, along with colleagues from Switzerland, that showed toad populations in the UK are declining. The data was gathered by volunteer toad patrollers. To read more about this research head over to the Froglife’s latest news pages
What is a common toad's preferred way of getting around?
When people think about frogs and toads they imagine them hopping. This is true for frogs, however, toads prefer to crawl as they have shorter legs
Common toads have what type of skin?
There is an old tale that, if you pick up a toad, you’ll get warts from its warty skin - this is, however, totally false
Common toad tadpoles are what colour?
Dark brown or black
When a common toad tadpole starts developing into a toadlet, what happens first?
They grow front legs
They lose their tail
They develop back legs
All of the above happen at the same time
When common toad tadpoles start going through metamorphosis and start developing into a toadlet, they go through an amazing transformation and become a small version of an adult toad. This all starts with tadpoles developing back legs
Where do common toads spend the winter?
Buried down in mud
In compost heaps
Amongst dead wood
Any of the above
Common toads don’t hibernate throughout all of winter - they will take advantage of warmer days and will emerge to eat. They like to spend winter in areas where they will be protected from predators, so anywhere they can hide makes a good place
Adult common toads are:
Carnivores (only eat other animals)
Herbivores (only eat plants)
Omnivores (eat other animals and plants)
Filter feeders (‘sift’ food particles from the water)
Adult common toads only eat other animals, such as insects, slugs and spiders
How long does it take for a common toad egg to become a tadpole?
2 – 4 days
2 – 4 weeks
6 – 8 weeks
2 – 4 months
There are lots of cool things happening inside a common toad egg while it develops into a tadpole. The whole process takes around 14 – 28 days, depending on the weather and environmental conditions while it develops
Author:  Graeme Haw

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