Surinam Toad (Pipa pipa)

Origin: Carribbean and South America
Sighted at: ZooKeeper Exotic Pets, Austin, Texas

I’d never seen one of these guys before! They’re very flat toads that live on the bottom of lakes and rivers. These guys at the pet store did a really cute quick-swim to the top of the air to take a gulp of breath every few minutes before scurrying back to the bottom of the tank to hide under a log or a big rock.

Surinam toads have an incredibly unique means of reproduction: the movement of the pair of toads moves the fertilized eggs over the female’s back, where they land and embed themselves in her hide, where the eggs grow like a honeycomb, even all the way through the tadpole phase, until at last many tiny frogs pop out of the structure on her back and go their separate ways!