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nieh
04-26-2005, 06:14 PM
Exploding toads baffle German experts

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BERLIN (AFP) - Hundreds of toads have met a bizarre and sinister end in Germany in recent days, it was reported: they exploded.
According to reports from animal welfare workers and veterinarians as many as a thousand of the amphibians have perished after their bodies swelled to bursting point and their entrails were propelled for up to a metre (three feet).
It is like "a science fiction film", according to Werner Smolnik of a nature protection society in the northern city of Hamburg, where the phenomenon of the exploding toad has been observed.

"You see the animals crawling on the ground, swelling and then exploding."

He said the bodies of the toads expanded to three and a half times their normal size.

"I have never seen such a thing," said veterinarian Otto Horst. So bad has the death toll been that the lake in the Altona district of Hamburg has been dubbed "the pond of death."

Access to it has been sealed off and every night a biologist visits it between 2:00 and 3:00 am, which appears to be peak time for batrachians to go bang.

Explanations include an unknown virus, a fungus that has infected the water, or crows, which in an echo of the Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Birds", attack the toads, literally scaring them to death

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/050423/323/fgyij.html

creepy...

the_GoDdEsS
04-26-2005, 06:16 PM
Ugh, I've seen many weird things in Berlin but exploding toads are new to me.

nieh
04-26-2005, 06:20 PM
I can't help but imagine walking through the park and seeing exploding people. No reason, they just randomly swell to 3 1/2 times their own size and *POP*

Tired_Of_You
04-26-2005, 06:21 PM
nieh - it made me think of Harry Potter. (the 3rd movie I think)

It sounds like a joke. Exploding toads. Weird.

Isolated Fury
04-26-2005, 06:30 PM
Spontaneous combustion?...

RedSlayer
04-27-2005, 12:40 AM
sounds delicious

Nepthys
04-27-2005, 08:01 AM
It's the Al-Qaeda suicide toad squad :eek:


very weird indeed...

wheelchairman
04-27-2005, 02:20 PM
We have them here in Copenhagen too, apparently. I have yet to see one, which has been the extreme disappointment of my day.

Vicky
04-27-2005, 02:34 PM
My geography teacher was telling us about it yesterday, haha

TheUnholyNightbringer
04-27-2005, 07:38 PM
To my eternal discredit, I find this absolutely hilarious.

nieh
04-27-2005, 07:47 PM
We have them here in Copenhagen too, apparently. I have yet to see one, which has been the extreme disappointment of my day.

that's odd...I didn't see anything about Copenhagen when I did a google search for this. Go out and try to catch one in a jar (pre-explosion) and feed it to somebody to see if it makes them explode


To my eternal discredit, I find this absolutely hilarious.

I find it hilarious too, but creepy and sad at the same time. Those poor toads...=,0(

Dr.Faustus
04-29-2005, 05:37 AM
I've got some horny toads at home.

Nepthys
04-29-2005, 08:18 AM
It looks like the mystery of the exploding toads has been solved. I can't find any articles in English about it yet, but apparently it's the result of crows pricking holes in toads when trying to eat their livers. Toads have a natural defence system that causes them to swell, but toads without a liver and with a perforated stomach will explode when they use it. Crows are smart animals, so when one of them figures out good tactics to obtain a toad's liver, the others will learn them too. As few as three to five crows can cause hundreds of toads to explode.

source (in Dutch) (http://frontpage.fok.nl/nieuws/53581)

poor toads... :(