Thursday, 27 February 2014

Cane toads demonstrating impressive adaptive abilities in Western Australia

6 hours ago by Bob Yirka

Cane toads demonstrating impressive adaptive abilities in Western Australia
Cane toads have over the past 85 years become a problem in Australia. Originally native to South America, some of the toads were captured and turned loose in the 1930's in Australian sugar cane fields with the hope of helping to reduce cane beetles. Since that time, they have reproduced to the point of becoming a nuisance (and in some cases endangering the survival of other species) and have spread to other parts of the country, most recently, into the west. As the problem has grown, scientists have looked to curb toad populations and in so doing have recently learned of some of the impressive ways the toads have adapted for survival in their adopted homeland.

One study, for example, carried out by researchers from several universities in Australia, has found that the toads have developed a diurnal pattern of rehydration to prevent dehydration during high temperature days. They've published their findings in the journal Biology Letters.

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