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Snake and Toad
Posted By: Rimfiredude, 05-29-2015, 08:25 PM

I was inside the house playing on the computer as usual when my brother came running in saying I had to see this. He was right, what a scene, a snake devouring a toad.

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Last edited by Rimfiredude; 05-29-2015 at 08:31 PM.
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06-02-2015, 05:01 PM   #16
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I think that might be the coolest backyard predator/prey sequence I've ever seen… what an awesome encounter!

06-04-2015, 02:08 PM   #17
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Here is the answer from our provincial museum expert. It is indeed a case of toad-popping! - Jack

======================
Greetings, I am just back from a few weeks at sea. Those were nice photos of the snake and toad.

The red organ is a lung. Garter Snakes and Hognose Snakes have slightly enlarged teeth at the back of the upper jaw and they use those to deflate toads. A toad's defense begins with inflating its lungs and then posturing to make itself look bigger. It commonly fails to impress a predator. The snake's larger teeth are basically toad poppers - and I am guessing that the toad's skin got ripped by the snake's dentition and the lung just popped out through the gash in its side.

The parotid glands of toads are firmly fixed in the skin and would not extend like that. The poison in the gland will leak out when the toad dies, but the poison on a gland looks like fine droplets of milk on otherwise toady-brown skin.

Hope that helps,
Cheers,
Gavin


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Dr. Gavin Hanke Curator, Vertebrate Zoology | Archives, Collections & Knowledge

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06-04-2015, 02:24 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
Wonder if it's the lungs of the toad
You were correct after all.
06-04-2015, 02:44 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
You were correct after all.
Thanks Kerrowdown. I'm not a trained biologist, but I've always had a deep interest in natural science. This has been a very interesting thread and it was great that the herpetologist provided the information.

06-04-2015, 08:18 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
Here is the answer from our provincial museum expert. It is indeed a case of toad-popping! - Jack

======================
Greetings, I am just back from a few weeks at sea. Those were nice photos of the snake and toad.

The red organ is a lung. Garter Snakes and Hognose Snakes have slightly enlarged teeth at the back of the upper jaw and they use those to deflate toads. A toad's defense begins with inflating its lungs and then posturing to make itself look bigger. It commonly fails to impress a predator. The snake's larger teeth are basically toad poppers - and I am guessing that the toad's skin got ripped by the snake's dentition and the lung just popped out through the gash in its side.

The parotid glands of toads are firmly fixed in the skin and would not extend like that. The poison in the gland will leak out when the toad dies, but the poison on a gland looks like fine droplets of milk on otherwise toady-brown skin.

Hope that helps,
Cheers,
Gavin


______________________________________________________________________
Dr. Gavin Hanke Curator, Vertebrate Zoology | Archives, Collections & Knowledge

675 Belleville Street, Victoria, BC Canada V8W 9W2
T 250 952-0479 | F 250 387-0534
ghanke@royalbcmuseum.bc.ca | Royal BC Museum
Thanks Gavin, the mystery is over.
06-04-2015, 10:38 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rimfiredude Quote
Thanks Gavin, the mystery is over.
That is fascinating and also terrifying. Cool shots.



I'm really really glad I no longer live in a place where there's large snakes.
06-04-2015, 11:21 PM   #22
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Garter snakes are your friend. They are the number one enemy of slugs in your garden. They do no harm to people.
06-05-2015, 12:55 AM   #23
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I love snakes. I currently have a King Snake in a tank behind me. Still a young one, and eating pinkies, but I can't wait until he gets bigger.

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