The Surinam toad, also known as Pipa pipa, is a species of aquatic frog found in the rivers and streams of South America. But what makes this amphibian unique is its unusual mode of reproduction. Instead of laying eggs like most frogs, the Surinam toad gives birth to a fully formed young on its ʙᴀᴄᴋ.
Surinam Toad Has A 1-0-2 Reproduction Method That Makes Many Viewers Sʜᴜᴅᴅᴇʀ!
This unorthodox method of reproduction is called “ᴅᴇʀᴍᴀʟ ᴀʙsᴏʀᴘᴛɪᴏɴ.” The female Surinam toad has a special sᴋɪɴ ꜰʟᴀᴘ on her ʙᴀᴄᴋ that provides a haven for her eggs.
During ᴍᴀᴛɪɴɢ, the male ᴡɪʟʟ ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴢᴇ the eggs as they are ʀᴇʟᴇᴀsᴇᴅ from the female’s ʙᴏᴅʏ. The female then ᴘʀᴇssᴇs the ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴢᴇᴅ eggs into the sᴋɪɴ ꜰʟᴀᴘ on her ʙᴀᴄᴋ with her hind ʟᴇɢs.
Over several weeks, the eggs develop into tadpoles and eventually into fully formed baby toads.
When the time is right, the female will give birth to dozens of tiny toads by ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴀᴄᴛɪɴɢ her ᴍᴜsᴄʟᴇs and ᴘᴜsʜɪɴɢ them out of her sᴋɪɴ ꜰʟᴀᴘ.
The process can take several hours, and the mother toad will not eat or move during this time, ensuring the safety of her offspring.
The Surinam Toad Has Several Other Unique Features!
The Surinam toad’s unique reproductive strategy is thought to have evolved to protect its young from ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀs.
By keeping the eggs and developing tadpoles on her back, the female can keep them safe from ʜᴀʀᴍ until they are fully formed and ready to be born.
This is especially important in the ᴍᴜʀᴋʏ waters where the Surinam toad ʟɪᴠᴇs, where visibility is low and ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀs are abundant.
In addition to its fascinating reproductive strategy, the Surinam toad has several other unique features.
Its flattened, spade-like ʙᴏᴅʏ helps it blend in with the river bottom, and its sticky ᴛᴏɴɢᴜᴇ is used to ᴄᴀᴘᴛᴜʀᴇ small fish and insects.
Its ᴇʏᴇs and ɴᴏsᴛʀɪʟs are located on the top of its ʜᴇᴀᴅ, allowing it to remain hidden while still being able to see and ʙʀᴇᴀᴛʜᴇ.
The Surinam toad is a fascinating and bizarre amphibian that has evolved a unique reproduction method to protect its young.
Its ability to give birth to fully formed young on its ʙᴀᴄᴋ is just one of the many adaptations that make this species so unique and fascinating to study.