Monday, July 23, 2012

The Revolving Door of Desert Wildlife

It seems that the wildlife around our new home in Arizona comes and goes in shifts. First, we had all the scorpions and coyotes, then we had all the bunnies and quail, then we had all the snakes, and now we have a new visitor to our porch at night. My husband heard a different noise outside and found two of these with the help of a flashlight...



It's a Sonoran Desert Toad or a Colorado River Toad. The two we saw were about the size of a human hand. When I first saw its pudgy, cuteness I wanted to scoop it up in my hands and kiss it, but I knew better. Pretty much everything around here is venomous and/or endangered.  This toad falls into both categories, so I took its handsome portrait, and then let it be.

9 comments:

allhorsestuff said...

Very cool toad.....at a distance!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Neat little guy. Seems like a lot of things in the desert are poisonous. Giving a sort of look but don't touch aura to them all.

Dreaming said...

I am learning so much, through you, about your plants and animals. I'm not so sure I'd want to live there!!!!!

Reddunappy said...

Lots of critters!!

A friend of mine in Arizona posted this on her facebook.

http://www.abc15.com//dpp/news/national/how-to-avoid-the-big-bad-scorpions

Probably stuff you already know. But who knows ('cept you! LOL)

Reddunappy said...

http://www.abc15.com//dpp/news/national/how-to-avoid-the-big-bad-scorpions

My friend in Az posted this! Probably stuff you know.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Licking toads! LOL

It is my understanding that handling them is not dangerous. The toxin they produce is excreted from glands just behind their head and is a milky white substance. It can be absorbed through the skin, but is mostly a defense mechanism if something tries to eat them, so it's usually oral ingestion that triggers the biggest reaction.

They are called 'licking toads' because there are morons who deliberately lick the toxin as a psychedelic drug, like LSD.

They will make a dog or cat that decides to play with them violently ill though. Death is rare...but can happen.

All of which I know because my stupid Red Dog likes to catch toads and got a hold of one of these. He was one sick puppy for several days.

...And No...he didn't learn his lesson. He still loves to try to pick up toads to 'give' to me...luckily the ones around here are of the ordinary variety.

OH and BTW...These toads can get HUGE. One that showed up at our house was about 10" from nose to butt and weighed almost a pound. I moved him away from the house because I was afraid he was big enough to give the dumb dog a fatal dose.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

BEC - Licking toads would explain why we've had so many naked men hijacking cars and going on rampages around Phoenix. No, actually that's PCP.

The toad I photographed what sitting right in Scrappy's favorite pee and poo spot, so yeah, I was more worried about the dogs finding the toads than us getting poisoned by them.

aurora said...

We'll I thought the toad was cute, until the poison part - so, he's not a prince?

achieve1dream said...

My grandparents dogs used to eat toads. It would make them soooo sick, but they never died. Just foamed at the mouth and vomited. I don't remember if they took them to the vet or gave them anything though because I was a kid.

There sure is some interesting wildlife around there.