Toad with hair?!?

Aron W

Arachnopeon
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Hey everyone. I just caught a small American toad. That’s not the strange part, what is strange is that it appears to have hair on its head. I know amphibians don’t grow hair, I want to know what it is. I will include a picture. 3A460E57-6668-4AF4-9860-8049A04EB739.jpeg
 

Coradams

Arachnopeon
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This is really interesting. With your permission, I would like to send this picture to a herpetologist and biologist I know.
 

Coradams

Arachnopeon
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I heard back from the herpetologist. He actually conferred with another expert he knew and the two answers I have back so far are parasitic fungus or "urticating hair from a stinging caterpillar thrashing as it is being eaten." I am still waiting to hear from the biologist.
 

Aron W

Arachnopeon
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I heard back from the herpetologist. He actually conferred with another expert he knew and the two answers I have back so far are parasitic fungus or "urticating hair from a stinging caterpillar thrashing as it is being eaten." I am still waiting to hear from the biologist.
The fungus would make a lot of sense judging by his surroundings when I found him.
 

Coradams

Arachnopeon
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The herpatologists also just suggested hair from a dead mammal that attracted flies which in turn attracted the toad. This may be an obvious question but did you try to brush the hair off? Do you know it's attached?
 

Aron W

Arachnopeon
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The herpatologists also just suggested hair from a dead mammal that attracted flies which in turn attracted the toad. This may be an obvious question but did you try to brush the hair off? Do you know it's attached?
I didn’t touch it in fear of causing harm to the toad. Although it did seem to be coming out of the skin in some way or another. At first I thought it could be some sort of mold, as it was in a deep pile of soggy dead leaves.
 

Coradams

Arachnopeon
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Mold would make sense then. I am still waiting to hear from the biologist, It is late so I probably won't hear from him until tomorrow. I will keep you posted.
 

Aron W

Arachnopeon
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I just want to say thank you to everyone who has made an effort to help me out. It is much appreciated. 🙂
 

The Snark

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Just use rudimentary primitive forensics. Hairs mean follicles. Grab the magnifying glass and tweezers. You aren't likely to find any hairs growing from follicles. Next, analyze the 'hairs'. All hair has a particular shape in cross section and those would very likely share the same shape. If shared shape and no follicles it's hair from some other animal. You can roughly tell the shape by rolling a fiber between your fingers. Dissimilar-random cross sections it's debris or fungus/mold . Take a single hair and try to smear it like butter on a porous firm surface. Smears it's very likely fungal or mold. Resists smearing it's probably cellulose, plant matter.
 
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