CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Strings of eggs laid by the European toad, Bufo bufo. When a male encounters a female ready to spawn he gets onto her back. They then spend several days togther in the reeds and on the floor of the pond, until the female ovulates. The eggs are released as 2 long fibres, which are immediately fertilised by the male's sperm. This process is repeated 10-20 times until the entire fibre is 2 m long. The egg fibres are then pulled about and entangled around plants. Once ovulation ceases the male climbs off, and the female leaves the site.
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