Modern dad

The mountains of northern Spain form a rocky barren landscape. But the midwife toad is perfectly at home here because it has evolved to live and breed on dry land. A pair meet up and start to mate. The male’s embrace squeezes the female until she releases her eggs. She catches them in her back legs where he fertilises them. But there is no water here, so how will the eggs survive? The male midwife toad is one of nature’s new men. He hoists the eggs up his legs, as if putting on a pair of shorts with no hands. From now on the eggs are his responsibility. He carries them away and burrows under a rock to keep them moist. The male holes up there for several weeks. Then he has to go off to search of a pond. He must return to water where the tadpoles wriggle free and grow up just like other toads.

Release date:


3 minutes

This clip is from

Featured in...