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Biology Of Toads, Toads Of North America, Toads And Humans

The true toads are amphibians in the order Anura, family Bufonidae. There are 355 species of toads in 25 genera. The largest group is the genus Bufo, which includes 205 species.

Toads are characterized by thick, dry, warty skin, with large poison glands on the side of the head and a relatively terrestrial habit as adults. In contrast, adult frogs have a smooth, slimy skin, and a more aquatic habitat.

Toads have a wide natural distribution, occurring on all major land masses except Australasia, Madagascar, and Antarctica. In some regions toads range as far north as the boreal forest, but most species occur in temperate or tropical climatic regimes.

The largest toads are from Central and South America, and include Bufo marinus, which can reach a body length (excluding the outstretched legs) of 11 in (29 cm), and B. blombergi at 10 in (25 cm). The smallest species of toad is a species of Opeophrynella, with a body length of only 0.75 in (20 mm).

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Thallophyta to Toxicology