Why these toads have turned to cannibalism
Surprising science news including toad overpopulation, sharp-eyed sunflower pollinators, and catfish-worshipping ancient Egyptians
After overpopulating an adopted homeland, this toad is cannibalizing its own species.
Known as the marine toad, giant toad, and cane toad, Rhinella marina feasts on insects in its native South America. So in 1935, 101 toads were brought to Australia in hopes of ridding sugarcane plantations of beetles. The poisonous amphibians did little to curb the beetle population and quickly became pests, multiplying rapidly and taking a toll on native species.
Today the more than 200 million cane toads in Australia are far too many for anyone’s liking—including the toads’, whose intraspecies competition for resources has evolved a gruesome new behavior: cannibalism.
Sunflowers are lovely to behold—and doubly so for pollinators. They see the