Saturday, April 30, 2005

Toads Exploding in Germany

Why are they doing it?
Birds May Be Behind Exploding German Toads - Yahoo! News: "BERLIN - Why are toads puffing up and spontaneously exploding in northern Europe? It began in a posh German neighborhood and has spread across the border into Denmark. It's left onlookers baffled, but one German scientist studying the splattered amphibian remains now has a theory: Hungry crows may be pecking out their livers.

'The crows are clever,' said Frank Mutschmann, a Berlin veterinarian who collected and tested specimens at the Hamburg pond. 'They learn quickly from watching other crows how to get the livers.'

So far, more than 1,000 toad corpses have been found at a pond in Hamburg and in Denmark. But the pond water in Hamburg has been tested, and its quality is no better or worse than elsewhere in the city. The remains have been checked for a virus or bacteria, but none has been found."
Of course the crow angle is just one theory at this point. Rumors of some toads croaking, "Allah akbar," just before exploding have not been confirmed.

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