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When confronted by a predator, some animals fight, others run while a few hide, hoping not to be noticed. The pebble toad of Venezuela does something altogether different: it curls up like a ball and throws itself down the side of a mountain. By doing so, the tiny creature bounces down the rocks just like a rubber ball.

2009-10-15

 toad frog roll escape toread
Frogs learn to recognise the smell of their enemies while they are still developing as embryos, say scientists. Researchers in the US and Canada found that woodfrog embryos were able to learn the "level of threat" posed by their future predators - salamanders. Embryos put into water containing the odour of a salamander and the odour of injured tadpoles learned that the predator's smell was a threat. And the stronger the...

2009-10-30

 embryo frog smell predator
When it comes to choosing a mate, female toads may have more control than previously thought.

2010-01-06

 female frog sex
The first monogamous amphibian has been discovered living in the rainforest of South America.

2010-02-22

 monogamy frog Peru biology animal
Tadpoles of one frog species let out an audible "scream" when they come under attack, scientists have discovered. They only make the noise, described as a brief, clear metallic sound made up of a series of notes, when in distress. It is the first time any vertebrate larva has been found to use sound to communicate underwater. The discovery that frog tadpoles can make sounds also raises the possibility that a host of aquatic...

2010-04-13

 larva communication animal frog water scream
Common toads appear to be able to sense an impending earthquake and will flee their colony days before the seismic activity strikes. ... It is hard to objectively and quantifiably study how animals respond to seismic activity, in part because earthquakes are rare and unpredictable.

2010-03-31

 toad frog earthquake frequency prediction seismology
Animals may sense chemical changes in groundwater that occur when an earthquake is about to strike. This, scientists say, could be the cause of bizarre earthquake-associated animal behaviour. Researchers began to investigate these chemical effects after seeing a colony of toads abandon its pond in L'Aquila, Italy, in 2009 - days before a quake. They suggest that animal behaviour could be incorporated into earthquake forecasting...

2011-12-01

 earthquake toad frog animal behaviour prediction water chemistry