[NetBehaviour] Toxic Toads Evolving Super-Fast

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Fri Feb 17 18:42:22 CET 2006

Toxic Toads Evolving Super-Fast

By Larry O'Hanlon, Discovery News.

Feb. 15, 2006 — Fat, toxic toads at the leading edge of an Australian 
invasion have evolved longer legs than those behind the front lines, 
report biologists.

The alarming discovery not only means the toads can spread more quickly 
over the continent, but it raises the possibility that under the right 
conditions, animal evolution can happen in just decades, not eons.

That, in turn, has major implications for animals adapting to global 
warming, as well as biological pest control projects, which generally 
take for granted that carefully studied animals introduced to fight off 
invasive species can not evolve into something troublesome.

The inexorable, seven-decade-long expansion of cane toads from their 
disastrous introduction to Queensland in 1935 has long been monitored by 

Cane toads are considered a pest in Australia because they breed 
quickly, poison larger native animals with their toxins, and eat large 
quantities of insects, including honeybees.


More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list