Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Picture of Kerry and Me On Our First Date

This is just before he kissed me.

Just kidding. That is one big honkin' toad though. Kerry and Ben were driving up to the house this week and the headlights picked up this big fella in the road.

Kerry, in his usual rapturous state of just having spotted a creature no one else would want to touch, leaped out of the car (I think he actually managed to put it in park first) and nabbed the thing.

Ben wanted to run over it. He's learned in science class that these toads are an invasive species not native to Hawaii. I pointed out that white people are not native to Hawaii (and pretty darn invasive) but I wouldn't want anyone running over us.

Cane toads were brought to Hawaii in 1932 to help control sugar cane beetles. Unfortunately it quickly became apparent that they were useless in this area because they could neither fly, climb, or otherwise scale the sugarcane plant to get to the beetles. However, the toads did prove to be adept and voracious predators to almost everything else: small mammals, other amphibians, snails, terrestrial and aquatic insects, and even dog and cat food. They also secrete a toxic substance which kills off anything that tries to eat it. It's the toad's only means of defense, but you have to admit it's pretty darn effective. They've managed to change the ecology of the island in many ways.

We did end up letting this one go. We just can't kill an animal that ugly (bugs don't count).

2 comments:

  1. I am not kidding when I tell you this.. we have a creek down behind our house.. and we have had TWO of these critters up in our back yard near very watery areas. AMAZING. We even kept on in an aquarium for a while and fed it small insects, but finally let him go.

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  2. Amy, I love your blog! Would you write mine, please?

    Chrislyn

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