Surprise as train passenger finds tiny green toads
Things you expect to find on a train include: litter, old newspapers, people talking loudly on their phone, chewing gum on the seats.
Things you don’t expect to find on a train probably includes eight tiny toads.
However, this is exactly what one passenger found on a journey from London to Folkestone last Thursday.
The small creatures were discovered left behind on a carriage, in a plastic box, placed in a carrier bag.
It is not known who found them, but they were taken to the Montgomery Veterinary Clinic, based on the Evegate Business Park, in Smeeth, which specialises in small and exotic animals.
Staff identified them as fire bellied toads, about an inch in size, suggesting they are quite young.
Veterinary nurse Lucy Toombs said: “At first glance they seemed healthy.
“They didn’t appear injured or malnourished.
“They had a damp towel in the box, which would have helped them keep moist.
“They are leaping around happily and eating.”
The nurse said a train was a strange place for the toads to be found, and guessed that someone had just bought them and was bringing them home when they forgot to pick them up.
In an attempt to trace the owners, staff at the vets put an appeal
Fire-bellied toads have a green or black body with black markings and bright orange bellies on their undersides. This brightly coloured belly is the reason behind their descriptive name.
They average about 5cm (2ins) in size
They have a long lifespan in the wild, where they can survive for up to 20 years.
The mating call of the male sounds like a dog’s bark, rather than the typical drawn out croaking groan
The female of the species typically lays 80–300 eggs that can be found hanging on Facebook about the toads last week, and have kept them at the clinic since then.
On Monday, someone called in to say they were theirs, and they are expected to be collected this week. off plant stems. The offspring develop in pools or puddles. Their metamorphosis is complete within a few weeks, peaking in July-August
Like many brightly coloured animals, the fire-bellied toad is poisonous. This phenomenon is called aposematic coloration or warning coloration, which animal uses to advertise its capability to hurt anyone who tries to eat it.
When faced with danger, the fire-bellied toad makes an arch with its back or even flips on its back to show its brightly coloured belly. This behavior is known as unken reflex.
Have you ever found anything unusual on a train? Write to Kentish Express, 34-36 North Street, Ashford, TN24 8JR or email kentishexpress@ thekmgroup.co.uk
Montgomery Veterinary Clinic owner Clive Munns with one of the toads