The annual toadlet migration is leaving the bogs now and dispersing through woods, fields, and gardens. These Eastern American Toads were tadpoles a few weeks ago. Now, they’re miniature toads of less than an inch in length and they’re hopping awkwardly day and night to get to a place that they can call home; when they do, they’ll be active mostly at night.
These amphibians will grow quickly, some to almost four inches. As they grow, they’ll shed – and eat! -- their own skins. That skin contains toxins that are exuded when the Toad senses a predator; it also will urinate on anything (or anyone) that catches it. If that doesn’t work and the predator is a Garter Snake or other small-mouthed animal, the Toad will inflate itself and make it difficult to be swallowed. (Brooklin, Maine)