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Mon Oct 21, 2019, 06:50 AM

Toad disguises itself as deadly viper to avoid attack

The Congolese giant toad, a triple cheeseburger-sized prize for any predator, may use its ability to mimic the highly venomous Gaboon viper to escape being eaten. The viper has the longest snake fangs in the world and produces more venom than any other snake.

"Our study is based on ten years of fieldwork and on direct observation by researchers lucky enough to see the toad's behavior first-hand. We're convinced that this is an example of Batesian mimicry, where a harmless species avoids predators by pretending to be a dangerous or toxic one," says Dr. Eli Greenbaum from the University of Texas at El Paso. "To fully test our hypothesis, we'd have to demonstrate that predators are successfully duped, but this would be very difficult in the wild, where the toads are only encountered rarely. However, based on multiple sources of evidence provided in our study, we are confident that our mimicry hypothesis is well-supported."

snip

Some mimics are exclusively visual, but for the Congolese giant toad, getting the look right is only part of the impersonation. If a Gaboon viper feels threatened, it will often incline its head and emit a long, loud warning hiss before it actually makes a strike. Similarly, Congolese herpetologist Chifundera Kusamba observed the toad emitting a hissing noise resembling the sound of air being slowly released from a balloon. Over a century ago, American biologist James Chapin observed a bow display by the toad, where the front limbs no longer prop up the viperine-shaped body, which looks similar to the cocked head of a snake threatening to strike.

https://phys.org/news/2019-10-toad-disguises-deadly-viper.html

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Reply Toad disguises itself as deadly viper to avoid attack (Original post)
rpannier Oct 2019 OP
MFM008 Oct 2019 #1
3Hotdogs Oct 2019 #2
JHB Oct 2019 #3
cojoel Oct 2019 #4

Response to rpannier (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 06:57 AM

1. I know

Im not eating it!🐸🐸

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 07:50 AM

2. Fuck. That ain't nuthin'.

We have a political party that disguises itself to pretend to be a friend of the average 'merican.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 07:52 AM

3. Whew! Saw subject line and thought Don Jr. was tweeting something again.

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Response to JHB (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 10:06 AM

4. well, I thought it was going to be about Chuck Todd

so there's that...

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