Yufani Olaya via Rainforest Expeditions
This cane toad swallowed not a fly, but a bat—and both lived to regret it.

Ick Factor: Frog Looking for Bugs Gets Bat Instead; Both Live to Regret It


We humans know all too well how annoying and gross it is when a bug flies into one’s mouth.

This cane toad in Peru, which was probably actually hoping for an insect, got something else entirely: a bat.

Passing by at that exact second on his duty patrol at Cerros de Amotape National Park was park ranger Yufani Olaya, who caught the moment for posterity.

"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,” he told the blog of Rainforest Expeditions, a travel site.

The capture was a confluence of bat habits and toad reflexes, according to NBC News. The bat was most likely swooping down to nab a low-flying insect, or something on the ground. The toad, for its part, was just sitting there, ready to clamp down on the next thing that flew in, as its ilk is wont to do.

"Toads are voracious and will eat pretty much anything that moves and can fit in their mouth," Adam Leaché, assistant professor of herpetology at the University of Washington, told NBC News, but added, "I've never seen something like this before."

Amphibian and mammal were locked together for a moment, the hapless bat’s wings protruding from either side of the toad’s mouth, its tail hanging out the front, in an alien-looking pairing. The toad, apparently unable to crush and swallow the bat—the amphibian lacks teeth—spat it out, Olaya told Rainforest Expeditions. For its part the bat—which Olaya initially took for dead—ultimately came to and flew away.


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