Cane Toad Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Cane toads are poisonous amphibians that live in different parts of the world. Come learn about this toad, where it lives, what it eats, why you should never touch one and some other interesting facts about this amphibian.

What are Cane Toads?

Imagine that you are walking through some dead leaves when you notice something move. You look down and see a toad. It blends in well so you bend down to get a closer look. You notice it has a white, jelly-like liquid on the side of its head, so you decide to leave it alone. That is a very good idea because you are looking at a poisonous cane toad!

Cane toads are big, chunky toads with dry, bumpy skin, webbed back feet, and swollen glands to the side of their eyes that ooze poison. They come in different colors like greenish-brown, yellowish, gray or brownish-red and their stomachs are lighter in color.

Cane toad
Cane toad

Cane toads are usually about 4 to 6 inches long, though some grow to about 9 inches, which is almost the same length as 2 soda cans stacked on top of each other!

They can weigh up to about 3 pounds, which is heavier than 9 baseballs!

Cane toads are poisonous during every part of their life cycle, from eggs to adult, and the poison they produce can affect the heart animals who touch it. It oozes out of special glands to the side of their eyes, and they can also spray some of it at you, like a water gun.

Swollen poison glands by the eye of a cane toad
Swollen poison glands by the eye of a cane toad

Dogs and cats can die from eating cane toads and it's very painful if a person is poisoned by one, which is why you should never touch one. Though people don't usually die from coming in contact with a cane toad's poison, some have died because they ate a cane toad or its eggs.

Where do Cane Toads Live?

Cane toads live near water in places like grasslands, woodlands, forests, and cities and are amphibians. This means they are cold-blooded, lay eggs in water, breathe through gills when they hatch, and develop lungs to live on land as adults.

In the wild, cane toads are originally from the southern United States down through Central and South America where the climate is warm and steamy.

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