Fun Surinam Toad Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 10, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Diya Patel
Surinam Toad facts are about an interesting kind of amphibian in South America.

The Surinam toad is a unique creature and looks very interesting. They have a flat body and triangular-shaped head, with really small and beady eyes.

A lot of the time, people might mistake them for a floating leaf due to their body structure and skin color. Each finger of the Surinam toads has star-shaped tips with an organ that is sensitive to pressure change. This has led to them being called star-fingered toads as well.

Surinam toads are found in South America, in countries like Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Ecuador, and others. However, the toad has been named after the country Suriname.

These toads are mostly found in rain forests and marshy areas and prefer living in aquatic habitats. Toads belonging to this species have a very interesting way of hunting as well.

They use the sensory organs which are located at their fingertips to sense their prey, before sucking the animal into their mouth using a suction effect. They don't have any tongue or teeth, either.

These amphibians are nocturnal and hunt only when they are hungry. The female Surinam toad differs from the male toads as they have a swelling at the cloaca which appears star-shaped.

The Surinam toad is a quiet animal and rarely causes any disturbances. They like to rest on top of each other at the bottom of the water and come up to the surface every once in a while.

The young toads of this species initially cannot dive too deep and tend to stay near the surface. Gradually, as they develop, they learn how to swim and dive like the fully formed toads.

To know more about this exotic species of amphibians, continue reading this article! You may also be interested in pool frog and natterjack toad facts.

Surinam Toad Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Surinam toad?

Surinam toads are a kind of amphibian found in South America. Their name has been derived from the South American country, Suriname. They have a flat body structure with spiny and rough skin. They are also characterized by no tongue or teeth.

What class of animal does a Surinam toad belong to?

Surinam toads belong to the class Amphibia and family Pipidae.

How many Surinam toads are there in the world?

Though the exact number of toads belonging to this kind is not known, their population is considered to be stable in the wild. However, this stability is only assured as long as their habitats are not wiped off by human activities or natural disasters.

Where does a Surinam toad live?

Surinam toads are usually found in rain forests and marshy areas. Most of their population is distributed along the Amazon and Orinoco River delta. Some countries that fall within this region are Brazil, Colombia, Suriname, and Bolivia. This type of toad can also be kept in an aquarium in the house or in the zoo.

What is a Surinam toad's habitat?

The natural habitats where the Surinam toad can be found are tropical or subtropical moist lowland forests, swamps, tropical or subtropical swamps, intermittent freshwater marshes, and freshwater marshes. All these places are characterized by the presence of water bodies and vegetation. Such habitats support the aquatic lifestyle of the Pipa Surinam toad.

Who do Surinam toads live with?

Surinam toads are usually known to lead solitary lives, once they separate from their mothers. However, sometimes they can be found at the bottom of water bodies, resting on top of each other.

Since this species of toad does not have a lot of requirements and does not cause any disturbances either, they can live with humans as pets, too.

How long does a Surinam toad live?

The lifespan of a Surinam toad is considered to be anywhere between 8-12 years in captivity. These toads require clean water for survival with average pH between 6.5-7. They might suffer from dehydration, toxicities, and nutritional deficiencies causing death.

How do they reproduce?

Surinam toad reproduction is one of the most unique forms of mating in the animal kingdom. Their mating rituals certainly stand out.

Firstly, the male toad calls out to the female by making a certain clicking sound under the water. This is an intricate part of Surinam toad mating.

Then, the female releases around 60-100 eggs and the male fertilizes these eggs. After this external fertilization is completed, the male toad pushes the eggs on the mother's back and the eggs stick to the skin. Over the next couple of days, the skin grows back around the eggs on the female's back.

This cluster of eggs represents a honeycomb-like structure. The Surinam toad babies undergo the larval and tadpole stages in these pockets of the female.

They are released from the female's back when fully formed but measuring less than an inch. Subsequently, the female toad sheds her old skin, continues her life in solitary, and prepares for the next breeding season.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Surinam toads falls under the category of Least Concern as listed by IUCN or the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The population is currently considered to be stable in the wild.

The main threat faced by this population is habitat loss, which can be caused by farming, deforestation, pet trade, water pollution, and other such dangers.

Surinam Toad Fun Facts

What do Surinam toads look like?

The Surinam toad can easily be mistaken for a rock or leaf at first glance, and this is due to their skin color which provides a perfect camouflage for them. Their bodies are either brown, tan, or olive in color and appear very spiny and rough.

Some toads might also have a gray line that extends from the middle part of the throat to the abdominal region. Their fingers have star-shaped tips.

They also have very small eyes without any lids placed right at the top of their triangular heads. This has earned them the name 'Stargazer'.

The Surinam Toad can be found in swamps like this.

How cute are they?

These amphibians may not appear cute to everyone at first sight. However, their quiet demeanor is definitely a plus point and adds to their personality.

How do they communicate?

The Surinam toad lacks vocal abilities. The females generally make no sounds and remain silent.

However, the males can make a clicking sound with the help of their hyoid bone when they are ready to mate. The clicking sound is also made by them when they engage in fights with each other over territory. In captivity, it has been seen that the males of this species bite, kick, and even head bump each other.

How big is a Surinam toad?

The length of a Surinam toad Pipa is usually between 4-8 in or 10-20 cm. If compared to a common frog, the Surinam Toad would appear larger, when fully grown.

How fast can a Surinam toad move?

The Surinam toad is not really known for its speed. This animal is usually very slow and mostly remains in one place, being still and quiet. They only move when they face any disturbance or need to feed. Apart from that, they also swim to the surface of the water from the bottom from time to time.

How much does a Surinam toad weigh?

These amphibians weigh between 3.5-5.6 oz or 99-159 g.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male belonging to this species is known as male Surinam toad and the female is known as female Surinam toad.

What would you call a baby Surinam toad?

A baby Surinam toad Pipa is known as a tadpole.

What do they eat?

In the wild, the Surinam toad mainly feeds on smaller fishes, worms, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. Sometimes they also swallow any dead creature if they find one. These toads are considered to be aquatic toads of omnivorous type. Hence, their diet includes a variety of items.

Are they poisonous?

Surinam toads are not considered to be poisonous. However, it is also important to note that all toads release some level of toxins so, it is advised to handle them with care.

Would they make a good pet?

Surinam toads can be considered a good pet, as they do not have a lot of requirements. They are a quiet species and hardly cause any disturbances. However, they should be handled gently and with care. They also require clean water, artificial light to imitate the natural day and night cycles, and sufficient food.

Did you know...

This article would be incomplete if it is not mentioned that these aquatic species were considered as frogs. However, owing to their rough skin, they were called toads. They do have a lot of bumpy projections on top of their skin.

During mating, when the female releases the eggs and the male fertilizes them, the two toads are seen performing somersault-like movements. This can last for nearly 12 hours.

Even though the toads of this species are very good swimmers, they cannot move properly on land because of poor eyesight.

What is strange about how Surinam toads sit?

The toad Pipa displays a special kind of sitting posture that is unlike any other amphibian. Usually, most of the frogs and toads we see sit by putting weight on their front limbs. But the Surinam toad does not follow this and is always seen in a splayed position. This means its forelimbs and hind limbs always point outwards.

How long can a Surinam toad hold its breath?

Since these toads are used to a completely aquatic life, they spend most of their time underwater. They can hold their breath for up to an hour without facing any difficulty.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other amphibians including marine toad, or spadefoot toad.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Surinam toad coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Diya Patel

Bachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

Diya Patel picture

Diya PatelBachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

A member of Kidadl's fact-checking team, Diya is currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science from Ahmedabad University with an interest in exploring other fields. As part of her degree, she has taken classes in communications and writing to expand her knowledge and skills.

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