Toads are unique amphibians in that regard- unlike most frogs who need to keep their skin damp or wet- the skin of a toad is usually thick and dry. The toad's thick skin helps it to store up water better than its froggy cousins.
As I continued to read through various websites and books regarding this amphibian- the following were my favorite Fowler's Toad facts:
- Fowler's Toads have been documented eating slugs, earthworms, sow bugs, beetles, and other small insects. They will only eat the earthworms, however, if their other food options aren't around- which is sort of like me and rutabagas. There is also an account of one New England city that had imported Fowler's Toads to assist with their mosquito problem. The thought was that many toads would eat many mosquitoes. Unfortunately, the town's plan didn't work exactly as envisioned- they now have an issue with too many Fowler's Toads, as well as their original issue of the over population of mosquitoes.
- A Fowler's Toad releases a toxin from its parotid glands- which are the glands directly behind the eye ridges. The toxin is released when a predator picks the toad up with its mouth. Most mammals find the toxin distasteful and quickly drop it. However, snakes and birds do not seem to be affected as much by the toxin and continue to happily eat the little amphibian. But, there is a mammal that is an exception. . .
- Raccoons are intelligent enough to flip the toad over on its back and eat it via its belly- thereby bypassing the parotid glands and its nasty toxic release. (source)
- A Fowler's Toad typically lays between 7,000 to 10,000 eggs which will then in turn hatch in the short period of only 2 to 7 days into little oval black tad poles. It takes another 30-40 days for the tad poles to morph into the tiny little toads. (source)
- This toad's scientific name was changed in 2006 from Bufo fowleri to Anaxyrus fowleri. (source)
- Fowler's Toads usually only live to be a maximum of about 5 years of age in the wild. (source)
- Fowler's Toads were named after S.P. Fowler, an early naturalist from Massachusetts.