No Adaptation for Cane Toads

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No adaptation for cane toads, according to a report in Biology Open doi: 10.1242/bio.2011024 15 January 2012. Since their introduction to eastern Australia over 70 year ago cane toads have been moving westwards across northern Australia. The toads at the migration front are believed to have been evolving ways that help them invade new territory. According to a group of Australian scientists, “Previous studies of cane toads at the invasive front have identified several behavioural, morphological and locomotory characteristics that have evolved to facilitate dispersal of toads”. The research team has now compared toads from the invasion front with toads that have stayed put on the east coast to see if their physiology, (internal body functions) has adapted to help them move into new territory. The researcher put the two groups of toads through a series of exercise tests, measured their endurance, and studied their blood and muscle biochemistry. They summarised their results as follows: “None of the measured physiological parameters supported the hypothesis that toads from the invasive front possess physiological adaptations that facilitate dispersal compared to toads from areas colonised in the past. The strongest difference among the three groups of toads, time to exhaustion, showed exactly the opposite trend; toads from the long-established populations in the east coast had the longest time to exhaustion”. They concluded: “Successful colonisers can employ many characteristics to facilitate their dispersal, so the extent to which behaviour, morphology and physiology co-evolve remains an interesting question. However, in the present case at least, behavioural adaptations do not appear to have altered the organism's underlying physiology”.

Editorial Comment: The “morphological and locomotory characteristics” found in the previous studies referred to by the researchers were that cane toads on the front line had longer legs and could hop faster. Therefore, they became separated from their short legged relatives and could only breed amongst themselves, so successive generations inherited longer legs. As we have explained several times, this is not evolution. This new study of internal body functions is confirmation that cane toads are not evolving, in spite of many claims on TV and in textbooks that they are. All of the variations in legs, behaviour and body functions found by cane toad researchers show no evidence toads have evolved from or into anything else, i.e. they have reproduced after their kind, just as Genesis says. (Ref. amphibians, Bufo marinus)

Evidence News 8 August 2012

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