Friday, 9 March 2018

Experts Are Stumped by the Toad with a Stump for a Face

By Mindy Weisberger, Senior Writer | March 5, 2018 06:43am ET

Scientists recently took to Twitter to puzzle over an unusual sight captured by a biologist in photos and video: a toad that had no face.

The toad, a fully grown adult, had a healthy-looking body and legs, but it was entirely lacking eyes, a nose, jaws and a tongue. Instead of a face, it had only a stump covered by smooth tissue and a small opening where its mouth used to be, according to herpetologist Jill Fleming, who discovered the toad.

It "kept hopping into things," Fleming tweeted.

Fleming spotted the unfortunate creature — an American toad (Anaxyrus americanus) — in April 2016 in a state forest in Connecticut, where she was conducting research on Eastern red-spotted newts, she told Live Science in an email. [In Photos: The World's Freakiest Looking Animals]

"We sat down on a log to process the samples, and the toad kept running into our feet. When we looked closer, we realized it had no face!" Fleming wrote in the email.

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