What Are the Adaptations of a Cane Toad?

Cane toads have various adaptations, but secreted toxins are their biggest asset. In adult toads, the parotoid glands behind each eye secrete a milky poison called bufotoxin when the animal is threatened. Small glands on the body secrete venom, killing any predator that decides to eat it within 15 minutes.

Bufotoxin, which is secreted from the parotoid glands, works by killing the predator through inhibiting the function of the heart. Secreting toxins is not the only adaptation these toads have. They are capable of surviving after losing up to 50 percent of the water in their bodies. Water is extremely important to the survival of amphibians, so this a great feature to ensure their longevity.

Amphibians also need water to lay their eggs, but more often than not, predators live in those waters or have access to it. To protect the most vulnerable stage in their life cycle, the eggs and tadpoles have their own toxins that make them unappetizing to anything that tries to eat them.

Their size is another adaptation that allows them to survive. They can be 2 to 9 inches long and weigh over 4.4 pounds as an adult. With this advantage in size, they have access to more food items, which provides more nutrition and makes them harder for predators to eat.