Toad is a common name applied to certain frogs, especially of the family Bufonidae, that are characterized by dry, leathery skin, short legs, and parotoid glands.
A distinction between frogs and toads is not made in scientific taxonomy, but is common in popular culture (folk taxonomy), in which toads are associated with drier skin and more terrestrial habitats than animals commonly called frogs. In scientific taxonomy, toads are found in the families Bufonidae, Bombinatoridae, Discoglossidae, Pelobatidae, Rhinophrynidae, Scaphiopodidae, and Microhylidae. There is no definitive collective noun for toads, and like most collective nouns, the listed proposals are fanciful; one example is a knot of toads; others include a lump, nest, or knob of toads. Between 1958 and 1960 Bogert recorded male toads in a field and it upheld to a gathering of female toads.
Usually the largest of the bumps on the skin of a toad are those that cover the parotoid glands. The bumps are commonly called warts, but they have nothing to do with infectious warts, being fixed in size, present on healthy specimens and not caused by infection. Frogs travel from non-breeding areas to breeding areas of ponds and lakes. Bogert (1947) suggests that the call of the toads is the most important cue used by toads in the homing to ponds.
Toads, like many amphibians, exhibit breeding site fidelity (philopatry). Individual Bufo americanus toads return to their natal ponds to breed where they are likely to encounter siblings as potential mates. Although inbred examples within a species is possible, siblings rarely mate. Toads recognize and actively avoid mating with close kin. Advertisement vocalizations given by males appear to serve as cues by which females recognize kin. Kin recognition thus allows avoidance of inbreeding and consequent inbreeding depression.
Author: Unfold Brazil