spadefoot toad


spade·​foot toad ˈspād-ˌfu̇t- How to pronounce spadefoot toad (audio)
: any of a family (Pelobatidae) of burrowing toads having the inner bone of the tarsus edged with a strong horny sheath with which they dig

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web When the Land Comes to Life To survive the dry times, the spadefoot toad will spend years of its life burrowed down in the mud beneath the playa floor. John Richard Saylor, Discover Magazine, 18 Apr. 2021 Though the story of spadefoot toad cannibalism has been well researched, it is not fully resolved. Bill Schutt, Discover Magazine, 3 Jan. 2019 Female plains spadefoot toads start seeking out not the duckish quacks of their own species but the baritone trills of the Mexican spadefoot toad. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 7 July 2022 However, the court rejected arguments from environmentalists that new homes posed dramatic threats to the gnatcatcher, a type of songbird, and the spadefoot toad. San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Mar. 2022 Pfennig’s spadefoot toads in Arizona have ever-shorter time frames to grow from tadpole to toad as the western U.S. sees more droughts and wildfires. Starre Vartan, National Geographic, 26 June 2019 In another study, one Texas feral hog was found with 49 eastern spadefoot toads in its stomach. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, 24 Jan. 2018 For instance, spadefoot toads, in the American Southwest, lay their eggs in transient ponds, some no larger than puddles. National Geographic, 19 Feb. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spadefoot toad.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1867, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spadefoot toad was in 1867

Dictionary Entries Near spadefoot toad

Cite this Entry

“Spadefoot toad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

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