Don’t Touch That Toad and Other Strange Things Adults Tell You

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In the days following migration the dried bodies of the squashed amphibians are seen to litter the road. Amphibians can also fall into roadside drains, from which escape is normally impossible.


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If there is a road you know of where every year numbers of toads are killed, you would like to get involved and help stop this from happening then see our Toads on Roads campaign. Breeding-related: drowning or exhaustion Female frogs and toads that arrive early to a breeding pond are immediately grabbed by males — sometimes several at once — which will often not let go until she expels her spawn. Competition for female toads can be higher than for frogs.

Males may also succumb to exhaustion in some circumstances — lack of food, old age, etc.

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Predation Adult frogs are part of the diet of a long list of predators so they are still at risk during summer when large numbers of adults may gather together at ponds during hot weather. In most cases predation is likely to leave no trace of the amphibian, but sometimes bodies are left behind. If you come across a dead frog , in some cases it is possible to tell what predator may have been involved. Predation is linked to other factors.

For instance, if pollution is a factor, then tadpoles or frogs most affected by pollutants may be easier prey. Toad fly This can be a particular problem to common toads in late August. Occasionally frogs, toads or newts are found with an inflated appearance. In many cases the animal recovers if left alone.


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  • Disease If you are noticing symptoms that are not described above it may be that you have come across adults suffering from an amphibian disease. Find out more about diseases. Answer Quick answer Remove from the pond, if necessary, and bury or burn the bodies to prevent the spread of disease. Further information Although disease is often not the cause of amphibian deaths it is best to be cautious when disposing of bodies.

    See a Problem?

    Further information Amphibians form a crucial part of the diet of many wildlife species so you can expect to see a number of predators in your garden, particularly if there are frogs present. Animals that will feed on amphibians include birds, foxes, rats, stoats, otters and hedgehogs.

    Some amphibian predators, like grass snakes , have disappeared from many parts of the UK where they once thrived; having these animals in your garden is a privilege. Adding a variety of places in your garden for amphibians to hide when disturbed is the best long-term advice. Log piles, rockeries, dense low-growing foliage and water bodies can all provide places where amphibians can flee from natural predators. See our wildlife gardening page for tips. Cats, however, can pose a persistent problem. While some cats may ignore frogs , others will catch, play with and sometimes kill them.

    It can be difficult to exclude cats from a garden so, again, increasing the amount of frog-friendly habitat will help amphibians escape — especially habitats that cats will have trouble getting their paws in to. We would advise that pond-owners avoid using pond-netting. Please click "Accept" to use cookies on this website. More information Accept. The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible.

    If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. We assumed it was flying fish eggs from a big wave but after reading this article I'm going back to find some and keep it in a jam jar just in case its valuable or I can sell it ar star jelly!! Seb Wright Fisherman This slime is found on many fish I have caught ,it forms a protective layer around the fish to protect it's scales. This could explain why this slime is found near ponds?? Wraypa1 What this really needs is some chemical analysis.

    FTIR and Raman spectroscopy would be ideal methods for probing this kind of material. Plenty of frogs, herons etc. THe course is near the sea and there are some wetland in areas around the course so could be the frog spawn theory. The course ground conditions were also very wet at the time. Patrick I would like to know what the DNA sample was supposedly contaminated with to make the tests so inconclusive. Was it some sort of DNA that was a surprise and shouldn't really have been there?

    Mat Turner The one thing that you will not find near this puss is animal life.

    BioKIDS - Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species, Anaxyrus americanus, American Toad: INFORMATION

    That's because they still have their "sixth sense" and know that it is indeed - alien excretion - quite possibly of the "invasion of the body snatchers" variety but more likely to be of the genus "blob". For all those that have scooped up the blob in a dog poo bag, you MUST not touch it. I have read that some intrepid folk on this forum have witnessed the blob doubling in size when added to water - this is due to it digesting the microscopic organisms in the water. M Suggest larval form of crop circles.

    If You See This, Run Fast and Ask for Help!

    Seriously though 1 consider there is more than one possible answer depending on location, time of year, size of deposit etc. Ian Higginson My 9 year old son found several large blobs of the jelly last month on a heath in Sherwood Forest. I'll admit I was stumped but he was fascinated. At first I thought it was some sort of frog or toad spawn, but on closer inspection it was just a jelly like substance, like the stuff in the picture. Joe Blower I have found some of this substance in my back garden around the pond. I think it may be predators regurgitating frog spawn as suggested above.

    This would be logical as I have seen a heron doing this before at my local bird park. MG I found something exactly like this 'growing' under a newly laid turf last summer. I though it was maybe to do with ants which we have a lot of in the garden. I live in London. The turfed area was once a large pond. Les of Foel I have seen several samples of a similar material here in Mid Wales. I discussed this with a full time naturalist here in Montgomery who claimed that is is Otter jelly - an anal secretion used for marking the boundaries of its territory. So my vote goes with Laura Taylor letter 10 above But I really WANT to believe the wonderful array of tales from the imaginations of the other contributors!

    Steve Buckland Overwintering female frogs taken by a predator such as otter or mink, and the jelly from the spawn discarded. You might also see the black eggs as a pile next to the jelly, if they have not yet migrated into the jelly. Charlie laws a friend of mine found such a substance and ate it for a joke. I have frequently seen this jelatinous substance at this time of year, always in pristine areas of the upper catchment where mosses and rushes are abundant.

    A couple of years ago I found some at this time of year with what appeared to be dark grey eggs in one clump of it. I did some research into this and formed the opinion that this was caused by the breeding of a bryozoan life form. It is definitely not that unusual and certainly not "meteorite jelly".

    Don’t Touch That Toad and Other Strange Things Adults Tell You

    Expat in France A friend and I witnessed strange fast moving green lights in the skies above Brittany some years ago, later the same evening we saw a patches of a green jelly like substance glowing brightly on the ground. Strange but true! Dermot Byrne One morning after a particularily bad thunderstorm, I found a lot of jelly in the backyard. The mystery was solved when I discovered a hanging basket had been struck by lightening.

    There was compost all over the place but no sign of the original water retention crystals in the bottom. Frances im in Birmingham and recently found a some large piles of this jelly in plant pots in my garden, i have to say i thought it was frogspawn that hadnt been fertilised. Space snot?

    Don Piccinno Its the bodysnatchers! Watch out for giant pea pods. Don Blandford Looks to me like the gel the water companies give out to gardners to save on water David Baker Came across this on top of a large boulder, in winter, Glen Coe, just below the snow line. Blobs seemed much too large to be from a single frog, also why on top of difficult to climb rock.

    No open water nearby, though you do get frogs on open hillsides, but not in freezing weather, I think! It looked like very large frog spawn, with out the black dots in it. It was a female frog and she had split open revealing this jelly unfertilised spawn so the heron and other birds of prey theory is entirely plausible. Peter Jackmond Dear Sirs, Madams or Aliens,It is my comprehension at this present time, with regard to this amusement upon our planet, that this presumably obscure substance may, in fact, have a substantial similarity to ectoplasm, that is to say, the plasma of ects. This substance can be considered to be not dissimilar to the milk of pigs.

    When this milk is commercially sold as PILK, it is absolutely harmless; however, in this present economic climate, it may be vicious due to the lack of pasteurisation in certain dubious countries of origin, such as Romania. This leads me to conclude that Shepherd's Bush Health and Safety Regulations should be stringently followed at all times, whithersoever this substance may be. JackmondDirectorLightning Decision Matches. Phil Bowers I watched "invasion of the body snatchers" last night, and this stuff looks strangely familar.

    Zubeir Ali Its probably debris, petroleum jelly, lubricant or even worse harmful waster from a plane.

    John I've heard a report of a very similar substance being found before. It was positively identified as the 'unripe' spawn of frogs and toads that have been eaten by a predator that has discarded the unpalatble jelly.

    KIRKUS REVIEW

    Polecats, mink and otters will all do this. Given the location this seems most likely. Having said that some jelly fungus can look very similar! John Evans I have seen this jelly on numerous occassionsover a period of years the latest being a few weeks ago it is a secretion made by toads or frogs, it always appears at this time of year. Adam Knight I've had exactly the same thing in my garden in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. I just assumed it was some kind of frog spawn gone wrong!

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