Talented toads

Reluctant hero

Reluctant hero

3 days before the massive earthquake in Aquila, Eastern Italy, toads were seen to desert their nearby mating pond ‘en masse’.

The reason seems to be that they can detect slight changes in the chemistry of the groundwater, caused by the Earth’s crust releasing charged particles when under stress.

So toads warrant a new respect as potential predictors of earthquakes.

This one appeared on the fringes of the shadows as we were eating our evening meal outside.

The egg (in fact just the shell of a boiled egg) is there to indicate the size.

I love the expression on its face – it looks more like annoyance than fear, as if it was holding itself back from snapping: “For God’s sake stop flashing that light at me!”

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  1. Kerry
    June 18, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Interesting. But, isn’t that a tomato as opposed to an eggshell?

    • June 18, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      Now I look at it, it does look like a tomato! I guess it’s the colour of the flash. But it’s definitely an eggshell. I forget who ate the egg inside, but we wanted something quickly to put alongside the toad and we reckoned eggs didn’t come in too many wildly different sizes so that’s what we used!

  2. June 21, 2013 at 12:15 am

    lol love his face and you tomato colored egg shell :0

    • June 21, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      We have very highly-coloured eggs in Italy 😉

      The sequel to this is that last night I saw a toad hopping along at a fair speed with Galileo right behind! I was afraid he might bite it and tear its skin so I pulled him off.

      • June 21, 2013 at 12:32 pm

        and some can make animals very sick so I am glad you told him NO

        LOve the shot of the TOMATO EGG 🙂

      • June 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm

        Thank you for that warning. I knew toads could secrete stuff from their skins to put predators off but hadn’t thought what it might do to those predators. It’s also one of the reasons I don’t handle them, but mostly so as not to traumatise them as I could always wear gloves!

      • June 21, 2013 at 8:29 pm

        I hear you as they hide among my garden areas I scoot them out of the way so I do not squish them I will take a toad any day over a snake just saying 🙂

      • June 23, 2013 at 12:43 am

        I agree about the snake!

      • June 23, 2013 at 2:29 am

        🙂

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