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Toad is a common name for certain
frog A frog is any member of a diverse and largely carnivorous A carnivore , meaning "meat Meat is animal flesh that is eaten as food. Humans have hunted and killed animals for meat since prehistoric times. The advent of civilization all ...

frog
s, especially of the family
Bufonidae{{Cat main, Toad This Wikipedia:Category, category contains both species commonly called toads, and the true toads from the family Bufonidae. Animals by common name Frogs ...
, that are characterized by dry, leathery skin, short legs, and large bumps covering the
parotoid gland The parotoid gland can be seen just behind the tympanum (ear) of this cane toad. The parotoid gland (alternatively, paratoid gland) is an external skin gland on the back, neck, and shoulder of toads and some frogs and salamanders. It can secrete ...
s. A distinction between frogs and toads is not made in scientific
taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only about biological ...
, but is common in popular culture (
folk taxonomy A folk taxonomy is a vernacular name, naming system, as distinct from Taxonomy (general), scientific taxonomy. Folk biological classification is the way people traditionally describe and organize their natural surroundings/the world around them, ...
), in which toads are associated with drier, rougher skin and more
terrestrial Terrestrial refers to things related to land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture A ...
habitats. In scientific taxonomy, toads include the
true toad A true toad is any member of the Bufonidae, in the order (frogs and toads). This is the only family of anurans in which all members are known as s, although some may be called frogs (such as ). The bufonids now comprise more than 35 genera, ' ...
and various false toads including '' Ansonia malayana'' and '' Telmatobufo''.


Biology

In scientific taxonomy, toads are found in the
families In human society, family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinity (law), affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the w ...
Bufonidae{{Cat main, Toad This Wikipedia:Category, category contains both species commonly called toads, and the true toads from the family Bufonidae. Animals by common name Frogs ...
,
Bombinatoridae Bombinatoridae is a family of toads found in Eurasia. Species of the family have flattened bodies and some are highly toxic. Taxonomy and systematics Fossil specimens of the genus ''Bombina'' are known from the Pliocene The Pliocene ( ; a ...
, Calyptocephalellidae,
Discoglossidae The Alytidae are a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the ...
,
Myobatrachidae Myobatrachidae, commonly known as Australian ground frogs or Australian water frogs, is a family (biology), family of frogs found in Australia and New Guinea. Members of this family vary greatly in size, from species less than long, to the second ...
,
Pelobatidae The European spadefoot toads are a family (biology), family of frogs, the Pelobatidae, with only one extant genus ''Pelobates'', containing six species. They are native to Europe, the Mediterranean, northwestern Africa, and western Asia. Descrip ...
,
Rhinophrynidae The Rhinophrynidae are a family of frogs containing one extant genus, the monotypic '' Rhinophrynus'', and a number of fossil genera. The family is sometimes known as the Mexican burrowing toads or simply burrowing toads. ''Rhinophrynus'' occur ...
, Scaphiopodidae, and
Microhylidae The Microhylidae, commonly known as narrow-mouthed frogs, are a geographically widespread family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marri ...
. Usually the largest of the bumps on the skin of a toad are those that cover the parotoid glands. The bumps are commonly called warts, but they have nothing to do with pathologic
wart Warts are typically small, rough, hard growths that are similar in color to the rest of the skin. They typically do not result in other symptoms, except when on the bottom of the feet, where they may be painful. While they usually occur on the ...
s, being fixed in size, present on healthy specimens, and not caused by infection. It's a myth that handling toads causes warts. Toads travel from non-breeding to breeding areas of ponds and lakes. Bogert (1947) suggests that the toads' call is the most important cue in the homing to ponds. Toads, like many amphibians, exhibit breeding site fidelity (
philopatryPhilopatry is the tendency of an organism to stay in or habitually return to a particular area. The causes of philopatry are numerous, but natal philopatry Natal homing, or natal philopatry, is the Homing (biology), homing process by which some adult ...
). Individual
American toad The American toad (''Anaxyrus americanus'') is a common species of toad found throughout the eastern United States and Canada. It is divided into three subspecies—the eastern American toad (''A. a. americanus''), the dwarf American toad ('' ...

American toad
s return to their natal ponds to breed where they are likely to encounter siblings as potential mates. Although inbred examples within a species are possible, siblings rarely mate. Toads recognize and avoid mating with close kin. Advertisement vocalizations given by males appear to serve as cues by which females recognize kin. Kin recognition thus allows avoidance of inbreeding and consequent
inbreeding depression Inbreeding depression is the reduced biological fitness Fitness (often denoted w or ω in population genetics models) is the quantitative representation of natural and sexual selection File:Sexual Selection with Peafowl.gif, 250px, Sexual se ...
.


Cultural depictions

In
Kenneth Grahame Kenneth Grahame ( ; 8 March 1859 – 6 July 1932) was a British writer born in Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historic ...

Kenneth Grahame
's novel ''
The Wind in the Willows ''The Wind in the Willows'' is a children's book by the British novelist Kenneth Grahame Kenneth Grahame ( ; 8 March 1859 – 6 July 1932) was a British writer born in Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the ...

The Wind in the Willows
'' (1908),
Mr. Toad Mr. Toad, of Toad Hall, is one of the main characters in the 1908 novel ''The Wind in the Willows ''The Wind in the Willows'' is a children's book by British novelist Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternatingly slow-moving and fast ...
is a likeable and popular, if selfish and narcissistic, comic character. Mr. Toad reappears as the lead character in A. A. Milne's play ''
Toad of Toad Hall Poster for a 2008 theatrical production of ''Toad of Toad Hall'' ''Toad of Toad Hall'' is a play written by A. A. Milne, the first of several dramatisations of Kenneth Grahame's 1908 novel ''The Wind in the Willows'', with incidental music by ...
'' (1929), based on the book. In Chinese culture, the Money Toad (or Frog)
Jin ChanImage:Moneyfrog.jpg, 250px, A three-legged money toad The Jin Chan (), also called Chan Chu () or "Zhaocai Chan Chu" (), is most commonly translated as "Money Toad" or "Money Frog". It represents a popular Feng Shui charm for prosperity. This mythic ...
appears as a
Feng Shui Feng shui, also known as Chinese geomancy Geomancy (Greek language, Greek: γεωμαντεία, "earth divination") is a method of divination that interprets markings on the ground or the patterns formed by tossed handfuls of soil, ro ...

Feng Shui
charm for prosperity.


See also

*
True toad A true toad is any member of the family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social terr ...
*
Common toad The common toad, European toad, or in Anglophone parts of Europe, simply the toad (''Bufo bufo'', from Latin ''bufo'' "toad"), is an amphibian found throughout most of Europe (with the exception of Ireland, Iceland, and some List of islands in th ...

Common toad


References


External links

* {{Cite EB1911, wstitle=Toad , volume=26 , page=1035 , short=x * Amphibian common names