City life is giving male Australian cane toads longer legs

Invasive cane toads that live in Australia’s cities have developed different physical traits from those in the countryside, which may be due to rapid adaptation to urban environments

Life 14 September 2022

Cane toad taken in an urban setting of Townsville, QLD, Australia.

Cane toad taken in an urban setting of Townsville, QLD, Australia.

Hirotaka Komine

The invasive cane toads that live in Australia’s cities have developed different physical traits from those in the countryside, and these changes may be due to rapid adaptation to their differing lifestyles.

“In general, urban environments have less predators than rural environments,” says Hirotaka Komine at Yamagata University in Japan.

He and his colleagues collected nearly 600 cane toads (Rhinella marina) from 18 locations in and surrounding three cities in northern Queensland, Australia. Along with body length and …

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