Most adult toads only poop every week or two, which is a long time to wait for a bathroom break. Toads eat two to three times a week rather than daily like humans.
Moreover, toads aren’t picky eaters, and they will eat anything that fits in their mouth that doesn’t kill them. Why is toad poop so big?
Toad poop is so big compared to their body size because toads eat large meals. A toad will swallow any food that will fit inside their mouth and then take seven to fourteen days to digest it. As a result, their poop comes out proportionally bigger than most creatures. Fortunately, toad’s bodies and digestive tracts have evolved to handle their meals end-to-end.
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How Big Is A Toad Poop
A single toad poop is massive compared to the animal itself. Typically, a toad drops a lump around a third of the weight of its own body. So, a one-pound toad would poop a third of a pound.
Toads can take a couple of different routes to fill their stomachs. First, they can eat larger prey. Anything that fits in their mouth and doesn’t kill them is fair game for a hungry toad.
It all adds up in the toad’s stomach as the strong acids take their time breaking it down. The size of an individual small bite or meal doesn’t determine the eventual size of the poop since toads take days to digest.
According to Birds and Blooms, “Toads are strictly carnivorous. They feed on beetles, slugs, crickets, flies, ants, and other invertebrates. Larger toad species even eat small rodents and snakes. All toads will try to eat anything they can pull into their mouths and swallow.”
How Often Do Toads Poop
Mature toads poop every seven to fourteen days. Toads also eat less frequently, only a few times a week, so processing their substantial meals takes them a while.
However, juvenile toads eat more regularly while they grow, so you can expect to see them poop more often as well.
While there’s no exact schedule, they eat about twice as often as adults, so it’s fair to guess that they’ll poop about twice as often as well, or roughly every four to eight days.
What Does Toad Poop Look Like
Fresh toad poop is always dark brown to black in color and bigger than you expect it to be. Additionally, it has a shiny, wet quality that is recognizable.
However, as it dries, the toad poop will lose its sheen and shrink in size, becoming drier and less noticeable.
Although toads can live in more arid climates than their froggy cousins, they still make wet-looking poops. If a description isn’t sufficient, I recommend watching this video to see for yourself.
Is Toad Poop Dangerous
Toad poop can be dangerous for pets and even people if you get it on the surface of your skin.
Because toads swallow their meals whole and eat insects with their chitinous outer layer, they need pretty harsh stomach acid to break it all down.
That means their feces comes out more caustic than species that can chew their food.
Keep your pets, hands, and children away from toads and poop in nature. Even a pet toad poop in a tank isn’t something you or others should allow in contact with bare skin or fur. Use gloves and be safe.
Not-so-fun Fact: Cane toad toxins have occasionally been mistaken for poop. Since the toxin is sticky and viscous and emits it from their back, it’s a simple but deadly mistake to make.
If you suspect you’ve touched cane toad toxin, or poop please dial 911, as it can cause seizures and even death.
Toad Poop vs Rat Poop
Toad poop is a third the size of your frog and always begins shiny, then dries less shiny. It comes out in one more enormous lump.
Meanwhile, rat poop is a little more variable and smaller. Although young rats have shiny poops, the older rats tend to have a dustier appearance to their feces.
Toads poop all at once, and they live alone. Alternatively, rodents like rats, mice, and rabbits tend to live in communal groups. As a result, you will find piles of rat poop that come from multiple individuals rather than a single larger poop.
Additionally, rat poops are smaller and more pellet-like. Disturbingly, rodent feces have been mistaken for raisins and coffee beans.
Unless you have a tiny toad and a massive, oversized rat, you should be able to note the differences at a glance.
Helpful Tips To Know About Why Toad Poop Is So Big
If a toad had an anus like most mammals, it might not survive the process of pooping after its massive and long digesting meals.
However, thanks to the larger, multi-use cloaca, a toad can expel huge amounts of waste at one time or lay a lot of eggs if it is female.
Here are more helpful tips to know about why toad poop is so big.
- Toads don’t digest and poop everything they eat. If something toxic gets inside them, toads and frogs can vomit their entire stomach in a process known as gastric eversion. Once everything is out, the amphibian will even wipe off the inside of the stomach with its feet to ensure none of the toxins remain before swallowing it back down.
- If you are gardening and raising a toad, you can collect its poop to help fertilize. While most people don’t think about it, toad poop is often processed insect casings, which are great for plants. However, please wear gloves if you pick up amphibian poop.
- Toad poop looks so much like frog poop that the two are often indistinguishable. This is because toads are frogs. While not all frogs are toads, all toads are a member of the frog family. “Basically, toad is a classification of frog. And here’s another fun fact: There’s no scientific distinction between a toad and a frog, according to the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web.”
- A frog’s digestive system is known as the Alimentary canal, and it consists of the mouth, buccal cavity, pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and cloaca.
It is lucky for us that toads don’t grow much larger. Not only would a proportionally more giant toad be able to eat small house pets easily, but the size of its poops would be astronomical as well.
Fortunately for toads, their bodies are well suited to the mass ejection of processed food. Having a cloaca is helpful if you only want one entrance at your mouth and a single exit at the other end.
This option saves energy and complexity from an evolutionary stance, which is useful if you hatch from an egg and need to develop quickly. Still, the sheer size of toads poop is disturbing.