Cane Toads are Evolving into Super-Invaders

Scientists have demonstrated a “runaway evolutionary effect” that is speeding up Australia’s cane toad invasion.

This explains why the invasive toads have increased their rate of spread so dramatically, the researchers say.

They found that toads living at the very edge of their range were “super-invaders” – able to move beyond the boundaries of this existing habitat.

And when toads at the frontiers bred, their offspring inherited this ability to move quickly into new territory.

This phenomenon, which scientists have termed the Olympic Village Effect, has been proposed before, since these same scientists observed that the toads at the edge of the range had bigger front legs and stronger back legs – all the better to jump and to invade new areas.

Read full story: BBC Earth News

Kirtland C. Peterson

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