‘Toadzilla’, the world’s largest cane toad
The discovery of a giant cane toad in North Queensland is making headlines around the world. Dubbed ‘Toadzilla’, the 2.7kg monster of a cane toad is the size of a football and is believed to be largest of her species ever recorded.
When you think of cane toads in Australia, you might think of an unstoppable army hopping across the countryside, killing endangered animals, such as quolls, with their poison. Nearly ninety years after they were first introduced to control the cane beetle, we have over a billion cane toads in our backyard. And they’re getting faster, fitter and stronger.
But did you know that Australia’s native fauna are also fighting back? A large cane toad would appear to be a delectable package of protein for everything from freshwater crocodiles to our famous bin chicken–the white ibis–that have figured out how to eat cane toads, by flicking them about to make them produce their toxin and then washing them at a nearby creek.
James Cook University’s Professor in Zoology, Lin Schwarzkopf, joined us to discuss what this means for Australia’s evolving ecological system.