There is a popular belief that toads cause warts. Although there is no scientific reason for this, there may be something in the appearance of the toad that gives this idea. Take this quiz and learn more about the toad.
Why did Australia import giant cane toads from Hawaii in 1935?
to augment the sparse frog population
to combat cane beetles
as a tourist attraction
Were they successful?
They eradicated the cane beetles.
The cane beetles were driven from the fields into residential neighborhoods to become an urban problem.
They wreaked havoc instead of eliminating the cane beetles.
By 2008, what was the estimated cane toad population?
hundreds of thousands
Okay, so there are a lot of cane toads. Why is that such a problem?
They cause warts.
They are poisonous to many animals.
Their croaking creates tremendous noise.
Normally in nature every species has a natural predator and so a balance is maintained. Why does this not seem to apply to the cane toads?
Their unusual size and speed helps them avoid danger.
Potential predators don't know how to deal with these poisonous toads.
Predators don't hunt something they are unfamiliar with.
What is the one thing Australians do not have to fear from these toads?
disruption of the ecosystem
increase in popularity of frogs as pets
an outbreak of warts
What started the idea that toads cause warts?
First known wart was on the hand of a toad owner.
Bumps on their backs resemble warts.
Early folk tales described witches with warts using toads for their potions.
If toads don't cause warts what does?
human papilloma virus (HPV)
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
What was one of the bizarre and unfounded cures for warts?
application of bird droppings
wrapping the warts in fish oil
burying a cat at midnight
What else can HPV cause?
How many people in the U.S. are infected with some form of HPV?
What caused the controversy in 2007 regarding the campaign for mandatory inoculation against HPV?
severe after effects
profits being made by the manufacturers
campaign financing from vaccine manufacturer
Following these revelations, what happened?
The benefits outweighed the controversy and most states legislated in favor.
The campaign faded away.
Future campaigns were independently financed.
What threat do warts pose to humans?
no threat just an aesthetic issue
What is one of the more popular forms of wart removal?
freezing it off
So we know toads don't cause warts, but why should you think twice about picking up a toad?
It will urinate on you.
It could bite you.
It may not cause warts but does cause hives.
Are warts contagious?
That's just another old wives' tale.
Only if they come into contact with an open wound.
Warts spread easily and can be passed from one person to another.
Can a blister beetle be of use in the treatment of warts?
The secretions of the blister beetle are an antidote to HPV.
The extract causes a blister that helps remove the wart.
It's just another urban legend.
Getting back to the cane toad, what can you learn from its introduction to Australia?
Use smaller frogs.
If you introduce an animal, bring along its natural predator.