The life cycle of a toad involves several stages. Typically adult toads gather in suitable pools, the first to arive usually being the males. Their croaking may well encourage the females to arrive. A female would wish to avoid arriving at a pond which did not have any males in attendance. Gravid female toads are actively and persistently sought out by males and many males will often try to attach themselves to a single female. This can result in very large masses of toads all clinging to each other with one female at the centre. Such agglomerations of toads can be the size of a soccer ball. Eventually one male will secure solitary possession. Amplexus is the process wherein the male grasps the female while she lays her eggs. At the same time, he fertilizes them with a fluid containing sperm.













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The eggs are about 2.0 to 2.8 millimetres in diameter and are dark brown and are covered in an outer shell of gelatinous transparent aterioal which swells in contact with water. The eggs, known as toadspawn hatch into tadpoles or toadpoles. Toads lay their eggs in long strings, forming double files in straight, jelly-like tubes. The tadpole stage develops gradually into an adolescent toadlet, resembling an adult but retaining a vestigial tail. Finally the toadlet develops into an adult toad. Typically, tadpoles are herbivores, feeding mostly on algae, whereas juvenile and adult toads are carnivores. Most temperate species of toad reproduce in the period between late autumn to early spring.
Images 1 Through 6 Are From The US Fish & Wildlife Service
Images 7 Through 10 Are Courtesy Of The U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Image Number 11 Is Courtesy OF THe USFish & Wildlife Service
Image Number 12 Comes From The U.S.D.A.







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