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South American Common Toad - Rhinella margaritifera 

The South American Common Toad, commonly known as Sapo Crestado in Spanish, belonging to the species Rhinella margaritifera (Bufonidae) is a medium-sized (up to 81 mm long) ground dwelling toad that shows obvious adaptations to the life on leaf litter of primary and secondary forests.

Their cryptic coloration resembles dark partly decomposed fallen leaves (“dead-leaf pattern”). Effect of this coloration is multiplied by body outline disruptive function of elevated and laterally widely expanded cranial crests, bone protrusions at angle of jaws and neural crests of vertebrae which serve as direct antipredator mechanism.

This is a species complex that occurs throughout the Amazon Basin of South America, the Guianas, and is also present in central Panama and the eastern lowlands and cordilleras of Panama, as well as in Gorgona Island, Colombia.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Frank Deschandol | Locality: Peru (2013)

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