Ah, to be a Toad in Springtime

JP - Toads small

First graders found these two this morning in their spring embrace, not quite understanding what it was all about, which was fine. That will come later. But for those of you paying attention now, here’s the story.

American Toads fertilize externally. What we see here – called amplexus – is the embrace that makes that happen. The male is on top, much smaller than the female, who needs to carry the eggs after all. He is holding on tightly with good reason. He’s trying to squeeze the eggs out of her. Once they are released, he will fertilize them, and hopefully the next generation of toads will be on the way.

Frogs and toads aren’t alone in locking themselves into amplectant pairs. Horseshoe crabs also practice the art. Meanwhile, at Jacobs Pond, other toads were trilling away around the edges, bringing the sound of the eternal hope of spring back to a place so long embattled by the winter blues!