Spot the toad!

There are a lot of things to write about today, including a cool new paper on frigatebirds, birds that can stay aloft (without landing) for over two months. We’ll see how many we get to, as I have other work to do. In the meantime, here’s a “spot the ___” post, with the series initiated long ago by Professor Sir Matthew Cobb (that’s his new name since he was given a literary knighthood by the French for his books on the French resistance and the liberation of Paris).

This one isn’t too hard, but shows again how cryptic animals can be in the wild, and for good reasons. Reader Tom Hennessy sent this photo and some notes:

While I was in Shenandoah National Park in May taking photos of wildflowers and landscapes, I noticed a small toad in a meadow.  As I tried to get a photo of it, it buried itself backward into the floor of the meadow.

Okay, spot it! (Click to enlarge; there won’t be a reveal as it’s too easy! But remember, predators don’t know it’s there, and so give the area only a cursory glance.)

Tom Hennessy Spot the Toad-1330

15 Comments

  1. Jim Knight
    Posted July 5, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Professor Sir Matthew Cobb Congratulations!

    • Posted July 5, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      He got his award (and a spiffy medal) some time ago, but only now have I worked out the right thing to call him.

      • Dominic
        Posted July 5, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        Surely
        le Chevalier du chat or some such?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted July 5, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        Call him anything you want, but don’t call him late for lunch.

  2. Posted July 5, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The eye gave it away!

    • Posted July 5, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      A minute later it was completely beneath the leaves and debris. it just wriggled in backwards.

    • Mobius
      Posted July 5, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. The eye is just left of center. Once you see that, the toad becomes obvious. Excellent camouflage.

    • Posted July 5, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Yes, indeed! I was able to espy it with my little eye, without embiggening the photo.

  3. Posted July 5, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Frigatebirds are interesting. I’ve watched them out over the ocean, waiting for another bird to catch a fish, harassing the bird until it drops the fish, and then stealing it for themselves.

    I guess you could argue that it’s evidence for intelligent design, so long as it’s stipulated that there must be countless intelligent designers engaged in a ruthless and selfish competition, each caring only about the success of his own creation.

  4. Posted July 5, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Toad is easy once you see it, but I didn’t see it until I enlarged the picture. Nice!

  5. Posted July 5, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Toad-spotted

  6. Posted July 5, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Professor Sir Matthew, Sir!

  7. Heather Hastie
    Posted July 5, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Amazing camouflage!

  8. kansaskitty
    Posted July 5, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    At first, I was sure there was no toad there – then I saw the eye! I did have to enlarge it to see it. Nice!

  9. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted July 5, 2016 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Professor Sir Matthew Cobb (that’s his new name since he was given a literary knighthood by the French for his books on the French resistance and the liberation of Paris).

    Congratulations.


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