cane toad


Definition of cane toad

: a large, brownish, poisonous toad (Rhinella marina synonym Bufo marinus) native to Central and South America, Mexico, and extreme southern Texas and introduced into other tropical and subtropical areas (such as Australia) where it has become an invasive species Cane toads are seen as a major threat to biodiversity, not only because they voraciously out-compete some native species for food and consume others, but also because their skin toxins are thought to kill carnivorous predators which mistake them for local amphibians.— Sheila Lunter

called also giant toad, marine toad

Examples of cane toad in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The kids are used to it, in addition to their interactions with a one-eyed cane toad named Pirate and a bearded dragon named Tad, among others. Jane Stueckemann, Houston Chronicle, "25th anniversary of WOW! science camp in The Woodlands brings animals, experiments to campers," 12 July 2019 But as the examples of the mongoose and cane toad illustrate, biological control can go awry. Christina Nunez, National Geographic, "Invasive species, explained," 5 June 2019 In the 1930s, scientists in both Australia and the U.S. decided to import the South American cane toad as a form of biowarfare against beetles that eat sugar cane. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "Overrun by Alien Species," 1 Nov. 2018 Today, the cane toad can be found all over northern Australia and south Florida. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "Overrun by Alien Species," 1 Nov. 2018 But things went downhill fast after cane toads were introduced in the 1930s. Matt Warren, Science | AAAS, "This endangered Australian marsupial was set to make a comeback—until it stopped fearing wild dogs," 5 June 2018 Today, the two hundred million cane toads in Australia constitute a pest far worse than the one they were meant to control. Steven Strogatz, The New Yorker, "When Twenty-Six Thousand Stinkbugs Invade Your Home," 8 Aug. 2011 One menace is cane toads, a North American poisonous amphibian introduced to Australia in the 1930s by farmers as pest control for sugar cane crops. Ben Panko, Smithsonian, "To Save Australia’s Ecosystem, Ecologists Say Eat Kangaroos," 12 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cane toad.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cane toad

1975, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of cane toad was in 1975

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More Definitions for cane toad

cane toad


Medical Definition of cane toad

: a large, brownish toad (Rhinella marina synonym Bufo marinus) that secretes a toxin poisonous especially to small animals and that is native to Central and South America, Mexico, and southernmost Texas but has become an invasive species in other warm regions (as Florida and Australia) where it was formerly introduced for insect control

Comments on cane toad

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concealment of treason or felony

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