A Day in the Life of Miranda Toad:
Laura looked at Miranda's feet to tell she was a female! Female toads
are larger than males, but male toads have thicker, stronger feet.
This helps the males to hang onto the females' backs while they are
mating. Their eggs must be laid in water, and without strong feet,
the male might slide right off the slippery female.
When people handle toads, it's a good idea to wash our hands when we're done, just in case any of the gland secretions have gotten on our hands. It's a good idea to wash our hands BEFORE we handle a toad or frog, too, or at least to dip them in water, so the oils on our human skin can't cause skin problems for the toad or frog. It's a myth that handing toads causes warts. But human hands can cause skin problems for some amphibians and fish.
On the previous page, we asked if you think toads have better vision for things that are close up or far away. A toad's sharpest vision is probably in the area within a few feet of it. But it's important to be aware of things farther away, in order to escape from hungry predators.
We also asked if you think this toad's eyes had anything to do with Laura naming her Miranda. The name Miranda was created by William Shakespeare for the heroine of his play, The Tempest. The Latin word mirer means "to look at," and the Latin word mirus means "wonderful."
On Page 4, we'll see what Miranda does when she notices danger.