Surinam toad

Surinam toad

With its flat, flounder-like appearance, triangle-shaped head, and tiny eyes, the Surinam toad doesn’t look like most other toads. It also doesn’t give birth like one. These amphibians have long fingers that end in four star-shaped sensory lobes that inspired their other common name, the star-shaped toad. As fully aquatic species, Surinam toads live in slow-moving water sources, such as rainforest pools and moist leaf litter throughout eastern Trinidad and Tobago and much of the Amazon Basin, including its namesake country, Surinam. Blending into their environment with brownish or olive skin and a death-like stillness, the toads both stay safe from predators and catch crustaceans, fish, and invertebrates in the water. Males call to females by snapping a bone in their throat, the hyoid, which makes a sound underwater. When he finds a receptive female, he grasps her around the back with his arms, a position called amplexus. Interlocked, the pair will somersault through the water for hours until the female releases about a hundred eggs.

Keywords to learn

Hyoid: A U-shaped bone in the neck which supports the tongue.

Somersault: An acrobatic movement in which a person turns head over heels in the air or on the ground and lands or finishes on their feet.


Surinam toad

  • Order:
    Anura.
  • Lifespan:
    8 years.
  • Class:
    Amphibia.
  • Scientific Name:
    Pipa pipa.
  • Mass:
    3.5 to 5.6 ounces.
  • Length:
    Four to eight inches.
  • Region found:
    The amazon basin.
  • Population Status:
    Least Concern.
  • Current population trend:
    Stable.
  • Diet:
    Carnivore.
  • Sexual maturity:
    2 to 3 years.

 

With its flat, flounder-like appearance, triangle-shaped head, and tiny eyes, the Surinam toad doesn’t look like most other toads. It also doesn’t give birth like one.

 

Now that you know more about the Surinam toad by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.

 

Download questions about the Surinam toad here: Surinam toad (answers are on this page)

 

Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on Surinam toad. Click on Kidskonnect Worksheets

Surinam toad Fun Facts for Kids

  • # 1. Surinam toads are also called stargazers because their tiny, lidless eyes sit on top of their heads..
  • # 2. To sense prey, the nocturnal creatures use the sensory organs at their fingertips. They’ll then suck the animal into their teethless, tongueless mouths, or scoop them up with their hands.
  • # 3. In one of the strangest birth methods in the animal kingdom, babies erupt from a cluster of tiny holes in their mother’s back.
  • # 4. Baby toads don’t go through a larval or tadpole stage, instead erupting from mother’s back as fully formed, half-inch toadlets after about three to four months..
  • # 5. The Surinam toad population is not currently in danger, though its habitat is threatened by human encroachment, such as logging, farming, and ranching..

Q&A Corner

  • #1.  Where does the Surinam toad live?
  • # 2. What is the average lifespan of the Surinam toad?
  • # 3. What is the population status of the Surinam toad?
  • # 4. What is the current population trend of the Surinam toad?
  • # 5.  What is another name for a Surinam toad?

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