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Common toads surprise biologists by climbing trees

Citizen surveys have revealed that common toads often climb trees to hide in hollows or in nest boxes

Life 11 March 2022

toad

The European common toad (Bufo bufo)

Henry Andrews

The common toad is a rather rotund animal with short legs and an ungainly gait. It certainly doesn’t look like a good tree climber – yet citizen surveys suggest that common toads often climb trees to hide in hollows and nest boxes.

“It’s quite extraordinary,” says Silviu Petrovan at the University of Cambridge. “The people who do surveying for bats were like, ‘Oh yeah, we do find toads from time to time’. But nobody working with toads knows this.”

The finding emerged from a dormouse monitoring …