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.

There are many different kinds of toads in the world, but they all have similarities. This lesson will teach you what a toad is, what the different kinds of toads have in common, and where they live, in addition to other cool facts about them.

What Is a Toad?

You are on a walk when you notice something on the ground, sitting very still. It blends in well and is hard to see because it has bumpy skin that matches the color of its surroundings. Suddenly, it hops away! You've just met a toad.

A toad is a tailless amphibian that lays eggs and has rough, bumpy skin. Toads are amphibians because they are cold-blooded animals that can live on land or in the water.

Toad with Bumpy Skin
Toad with Bumpy Skin

Toads and frogs are in different families of the same group of animals, but many kinds of toads have features that make it easier to tell them apart from frogs.

A toad's back legs are usually shorter than a frog's, and they have wider, thicker bodies. They can hop like frogs, but aren't great high jumpers.

Toad with a Wide Body and Short Legs
Toad with Short Legs and a Wide Body

Toads usually spend more time on land than in the water, and have rough bumpy skin that looks like they have warts. Some people believe that you'll get warts if you touch a toad, but that's not true!

You still have to be careful with toads, however, because most of them ooze poisonous liquid from those bumps and from behind their eyes when they're scared. Depending on the kind of toad, the liquid can cause itching and stinging for some animals, and some toad poison can even sicken or kill animals.

From Tadpole to Toad

All toads start out as tadpoles that hatch out of eggs. They look a lot like fish with wiggly, little tails.

As they get bigger, their legs and lungs begin to grow and their tails start to disappear, but can still be seen.

Toad Tadpoles That Still Have Tails
Toad Tadpoles that Still Have Tails

Toadlets are toads that are almost fully grown, but still have some of their tail. Once they become adults, their tail completely disappears.

Although adult toads have lungs, they can breathe through their skin, too!

What Do Toads Eat?

Adult toads are carnivores, which means they eat meat, though they don't have teeth. Their menu selections depend on where they live, but include insects, snails, worms, spiders and even mice, birds or reptiles.

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