Sonoran desert toad: Please don’t lick this psychedelic amphibian, National Park Service warns

As tasty as it may look, you should refrain from licking the Sonoran desert toad, the National Park Service warns.

On Tuesday, the NPS used Facebook to warn passers-by to be careful around the Sonoran desert toad, also known as the Colorado river toad.

The amphibian is one of the largest toads found in North America, measuring up to 7 inches, according to the Facebook post. The toad’s call is a distinctive “deep toot,” says the NPS.

But the toads, found throughout the American Southwest, also exhibit another unique trait: They “have prominent parotid glands that secrete a potent toxin,” according to the NPS. The parotid glands are located just behind the toad’s eyes.

These toxins can make people sick if they touch the toad or put one in their mouth.

That’s why the service recommends people who encounter the toad “please don’t lick it.”

The toad’s toxins are particularly dangerous to other animals. According to the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum, a zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the toxins emitted by a Sonoran desert toad could be enough to kill an adult dog.

But among humans, the toxins have been exploited for other purposes. When smoked, the toxins are a powerful psychedelic, according to the Oakland Zoo, which is also accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Smoking the Sonoran desert toad’s secretions causes euphoria and powerful auditory hallucinations, the Oakland Zoo says.

Possession of the toad’s poison, known as bufotenin, is illegal in California, according to the zoo.

https://6abc.com/sonoran-desert-toad-national-park-service-dont-lick-a-animal-news/12430836/ Sonoran desert toad: Please don’t lick this psychedelic amphibian, National Park Service warns

Alley Einstein

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