Venezuelan Pebble Toad
Native to the rugged Guyana Highlands in South America, Venezuelan Pebble Toads (Oreophrynella nigra) are notable for the unique strategy they employs to escape their main predators: tarantulas. Kudos to Flickr user Paulo Fassina for getting really up close & personal with a Venezuelan Pebble Toad.
These minuscule (2.5 cm or about an inch long) toads tuck in their legs, curl up tightly and roll downhill to presumed safety… presumed because there might just be another hungry tarantula waiting at the bottom of the hill. (image via Paulo Fassina)
Crested Forest Toad
Looking like it’s channeling a prehistoric Dimetrodon or perhaps the poison-spitting dinosaur from Jurassic Park, the Crested Forest Toad (Rhinella margaritifera) hails from Peru’s eastern Amazonian rainforest. It’s not known what purpose the twin crests serve this formidably frilled critter but if looks could kill, it’s certain they’d never go hungry… or get eaten.
The Crested Forest Toad is also known as the South American Common Toad, which doesn’t make a lot of sense since these distinctive-looking amphibians aren’t all that “common”, even in their natural habitat. Goes to show you: an odd toad by any other name, doesn’t always look the same! (image via Dick Culbert)