For the earth in general, climate change is a downer. But if you’re a poisonous, invasive cane toad, it’s pretty great. (via Ecocentric)
According to a study conducted by the University of Sydney, cane toads will be at a biological advantage as temperatures begin to rise, because they can get oxygen from the atmosphere more efficiently at higher temperature. The reverse is true for many other cold-blooded animals.
This is great for cane toads, but bad for humans and other animals. Cane toads, originally from Central America, were introduced to Australia and Hawaii in the 1930s to control the cane beetle population. But the toads never controlled the beetle population, and instead multiplied to uncontrollable numbers. Plus, they’re poisonous to anyone – read, family pets – who try to eat them.
Cane toads made TIME’s Top 10 Invasive Species list for a reason – and if the temperatures continue to rise, they could become even more populous due to their adaptability. Ecocentric puts it this way:
Love them or hate them, you’ve got to hand it to the cane toad. They can lose half their body water and survive a vast range of temperatures. They can physically adapt to a new environment, and then reverse that adaptation when the need arises… If you live in a big city or the tropics, you know all too well that at the end of the day, when we are all long gone, cockroaches are going to be the masters of their universe. They just better hope that the cane toads can’t figure out a way to swim.