Inflatable Female Cane Toads Have Freedom To Choose The Best Mate

July 9th, 2010 - 6:59 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
toadJuly 9, (THAINDIAN NEWS) A recent research has revealed that female cane toads can inflate their bodies to avoid unsuitable male suitors. The researchers from Australia confirmed the findings on Wednesday and explained how the female toads bloat up in size when they do not want to mate with a particular male and shake them off their backs.

The study that was published in a British journal suggested that this technique gives the females much more freedom to choose the partner with whom they want to produce tadpoles. It is well known that female cane toads are extremely choosy about their mates and are always attracted to the males with the best calls. In the toad world however the competition is intense among the males who have to battle it out amongst themselves to mate with a female. The females on the other hand choose a male who not only has bigger size but also how the animals’ ‘cloacas’ line up. The cloacas is an all purpose vent that secretes sperms, urine, feces and eggs.

The technique of copulation in toads includes the males mounting the females and getting a firm grip on the arm-pit of the female called the amplexus. If the male is found to be unsuitable for copulation, the female toad bloats up in size and forces the male to lose the grip and slide off the back. According to the scientists, the females have used the evolutionary tool of bloating up earlier to scare off predators like snakes but are now using them to choose their mates. The research also suggests that the technique can be beneficial for the species.

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