Is This Creature a Bat-Toad Hybrid?


Here in the Washington, DC area, autumn is fully underway.  That means the holiday season is just around the corner, with Halloween only about 5 weeks away.  A lot of holidays have animals associated with them--think Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas reindeer, Easter bunny.  Halloween has a whole menagerie: snakes, spiders, wolves and the most important ingredients in any witch's brew, bats and toads.

So, to kick off the holiday season, I'm sharing this crazy photo of an animal that looks like a cross between a toad and a bat.

What could possibly be going on here?  Is this a toad that has mutated and sprouted bat wings?  Is it someone trying to have fun by sticking prosthetic wings on the head of the poor amphibian?  Or maybe it's a totally new species, undescribed by science?

It's none of those things; what you are seeing here is a photo of a South American cane toad that managed to catch and partially swallow a bat.  How did this macabre act of predation occur when bats fly through the air and toads spend their time on the ground?

You'll have to click through to read the full story, including what actually ended up happening to the bat, on biologist Phil Torres' blog post all about it.

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David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >







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