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CURIO-BW030

Cane Toad Taxidermy

Indulge your love of curiosities and discover the strange and unusual world of Taxidermy & Entomology. Our ethically sourced and locally made collection of framed butterflies, arachnids, bats and insects will create a statement in your home or office and quench your thirst for the peculiar.

SPECIES:  Bufo marinus (Rhinella marina)

DESCRIPTION: Soft mount taxidermy toad, please note specimens may vary in shape, size and colour.

Dry, warty and incredibly toxic. Cane toads are tough, heavily built amphibians that have developed a bad reputation in Australia. While cane toads aren’t bad (they’re just built that way), they are an invasive species that have wreaked havoc on Australia’s delicate ecosystems and biodiversity.

Why were they introduced in the first place? They were brought to Australia from Hawaii with the intention to control the cane beetle in sugar cane fields in north Queensland. Only 102 cane toads were brought over to be bred, and 2,400 toads were released in 1935. It seemed like a great idea at first, however, the cane beetles and the cane toads rarely crossed paths. Cane beetles live high on the upper stalks of the cane plant, and cane toads can’t jump that far so they barely had any impact!

In less than 85 years, the cane toad population has multiplied to epidemic proportions. Now, some scientists estimate that there are more than 200 million cane toads hopping around our continent, wreaking havoc on our ecosystem and expanding across northern Australia at a rate of 50 km every year.

Cane toads are toxic at all life stages - from eggs to adults. They have large swellings called parotoid glands on each shoulder behind their eardrums This is where they carry their milky-white toxin (known as bufotoxin). Their skin and other glands across their backs are also toxic. This spells bad news for Australia’s native species, as they haven’t had time to adapt to these toad toxins. One lick or bite can cause native animals to experience rapid heartbeats, excessive salivation, convulsions, paralysis and death.

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