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Maligned as a bee-killer and possibly cancer-causing, a common herbicide has turned out to be a boon for tadpoles making them more toxic to predators, researchers said Wednesday.
Common toad larvae exposed to glyphosate, used in the well-known herbicide Roundup, contained higher doses of bufadienolides—life-saving natural chemicals found in some plants and animals.
Bufadienolides - Taste - Tadpole - Diners - Quantities
Bufadienolides taste bad to put off potential tadpole diners, and can kill in large quantities.
"That environmental pollution can induce changes in bufadienolide production is relevant not only for toads but also for their predators," said study co-author Veronika Bokony of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Toad - Species - Others - Australian - Cane
While some toad species are declining, she pointed out, others such as the Australian cane toad are invading new areas and disturbing established ecosystems.
"Thus, if some pesticides make toads more poisonous, this might alter predatory-prey dynamics and the structure of natural communities in freshwater habitats," Bokony told AFP.
Toads - Bufadienolides - Bodies - Predators - Crocodiles
Toads with more bufadienolides in their bodies are more toxic. Large Australian predators like crocodiles, for example, die from eating cane toads which are a large species and therefore contain...
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