- Baby Suriname toads hatch from underneath the skin of their mother’s back and look like small versions of the adults. They can begin snapping at food immediately after hatching.
- They do not have tongues and use their front limbs to search for food and stuff it into their mouths.
- Suriname toads rarely leave the water; usually they remain still on the muddy bottom, coming to the surface to breathe approximately every half an hour.
The Suriname toad has a very flat body, a triangle shaped head and with legs splayed out to the sides of their body. Their plain coloring allows them to blend in with the dark mud and leaves found in their habitat. Their eyes are positioned on top of their head, which allows them to monitor predator activity and flee when necessary. They have large hind feet with webbing.
These toads live almost exclusively in slow moving, muddy waterways within the Amazon Basin and parts of the Caribbean. They eat small fish and invertebrates, such as worms and insects.
One of the most remarkable things about the Suriname toad is its reproductive habits. During breeding season, the males grab the female in a position called “amplexus.” This can last more than 12 hours and during this time, the pair perform somersaults in the water. When both toads are on their backs, the female lays 3-10 eggs, which fall on the male’s belly. As they turn back over, the male fertilizes the eggs and the eggs stick to the female’s back. This is repeated until 60-100 eggs are laid in total. As the female remains still, the eggs sink into the skin and the skin grows over the fertilized eggs. After 3-5 months, the babies emerge directly from the mother’s back, often when the mother’s skin molts.
Status In The Wild
Least Concern – IUCN 2010
Location in the Zoo
South American Tropical Rainforest and Aviary