The Peruvian rain forest is home to many unusual creatures, but recently a ranger patrolling in the Cerros de Amotape National Park captured this image of what appears to be some kind of freakish toad with wings growing out of its head.
Rather than this being an alien creature, or a strange lab experiment gone wrong, "this is a rare, and perhaps first, sighting of a cane toad feeding on a bat," Phil Torres, a researcher at Peru's Tambopata Research Center, said.
Cane toads are a large species of toad that are native to Central America and northern parts of South America. They're considered an invasive species and a pest in the Caribbean, northeastern Australia and in other parts of the world. They are highly poisonous, thus have no natural predators, and they multiply rapidly, producing thousands of eggs each time they mate. They are opportunistic feeders, eating both living and dead matter, but it seems that this particular toad took 'opportunism' to a new level.
Someone was able to contact the ranger, Yufani Olaya, who reportedly said "out of nowhere the bat just flew directly into the mouth of the toad, which almost seemed to be sitting with its mouth wide open."
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A strange bit of luck, for sure, but whether this was good luck or bad luck depends on your point of view, though. In a whole new take on the classic 'never give up' inspirational poster — with the frog strangling the stork that's trying to swallow it — this bat hung on until the toad finally gave up and spat it out. Having escaped, the bat was able to recover and fly away.
It's quite likely that both animals have come away from this having learned a valuable lesson.
(Photo courtesy: Yufani Olaya/PeruNature.com)
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