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Mesoamerican Burrowing Toads: Rhinophrynidae - Diet

scientists wait insects hunting

Although scientists know of no one who has actually seen them eating, they think that the Mesoamerican burrowing toad eats ants and termites that it finds in its underground burrows. They learned this by capturing some of these frogs and looking at what was in their stomachs. This is a somewhat common way for scientists to learn about the diet of animals that live most of their lives out of human sight. Based on the frog's short tongue, scientists believe that this frog digs through the soil until it pops just the tip of its snout into a termite or ant tunnel. From there, it can sit still to wait for one of the insects to crawl by and then quickly stick out its short, gummy tongue to pick up the insects one at a time and gobble them down. This type of sit-and-wait hunting is called ambush (AM-bush) hunting. Tadpoles, which live in pools of water, feed by sucking in water and picking out little bits of algae. This is called filter feeding.

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