Female Toads Don’t Have to Fake Headache to Avoid Sex

January 6, 2010

(ChattahBox) – Apparently cane toads females and perhaps all girl frogs and toads have some influence in choosing their mates. According to the Royal Society’s Biology Letters journal, while male toads often wrestle with each other in an effort to grasp a mate, by inflating, a female can influence the outcome of such a competition. This makes it difficult for the male toad to “hold on,” and seal the deal.
Scientists from Australia and the Netherlands who participated in the study had assumed that frogs and toads evolved the ability to inflate their bodies with air in order to deter predators “by increasing the apparent size of the [frog or toad] and by rendering it too large to ingest”. But, according to Dr Benjamin Phillips from the University of Sydney, one of the scientists involved in the study, bodily inflation could also be “a widespread mechanism of mate choice” in frogs and toads. I thought all in all it might mean females sometimes choose the underdog instead of the alpha toad. But the report concludes this could actually help ensure that the female gets to mate the the biggest, strongest male, which is likely to produce the healthiest offspring.

Source: BBC Photo: Dr Benjamin Phillips


One Response to “Female Toads Don’t Have to Fake Headache to Avoid Sex”

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