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Male midwife toad carrying a bundle of eggs

Male midwife toad carrying a bundle of eggs

Z700/0271

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Credit

CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

A male midwife toad, Alytes obstetricans, carrying a bundle of eggs. During the breeding season the male midwife toads live in holes near water. At dusk they begin calling to attract a female. If a mature female answers a male's call, he mounts her and stimulates her to release a string of eggs, which he quickly fertilises. He then releases her and picks up the eggs by tangling them around his rear legs. He then retires to his hole with the eggs. The male protects the eggs until they are about to hatch, when he hurries down to the pond and immerses his rear end in the water until the tadpoles emerge and swim away.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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