Friday, December 16, 2011
Roraima bush toad escapes tarantula in spectacular BBC film
This amazing footage from the BBC series Life shows how a hopless pebble toad uses a remarkable escape strategy when faced with a predator, in this case a tarantula spider.
But have David Attenborough and the BBC wildlife team got their names wrong this time?
The toad is identified in the programme notes as Oreophrynella nigra, commonly known as the Kukenan bush toad (sapito del Kukenan).
But if it was filmed on Roraima then it is more likely to be the endemic Roraima bush toad, Oreophrynella quelchii.
These knobbly, jet black toads are about an inch in length and are often mistaken for small black stones by hikers to the summit of Roraima.
A species older than the dinosaurs, they can remain still for hours, preferring to wait for the rain to wash them somewhere else.