Geographical Range Tropical South America
Habitat Rivers, canals
Scientific Name Pipa pipa
Conservation Status Common

The Surinam toad could well win top honors in the "weird animals of the world" category. If you saw this animal in the wild, you might think it was dead. It lies very still on the bottom of a slow-moving stream for long periods of time, with its flattened body outspread. Amazingly, this is how the toad “hunts,” waiting patiently for food to swim in front of it. Then it either shovels its victim in with its fingers, or opens its large mouth to suck it in.

The Surinam toad lives in the waters of the Amazon River basin. It feeds on small fish, worms, and water bugs.

This species is well known for its peculiar parenting behavior. After the female lays her eggs, the male places them on the skin of her back, where they sink into the skin and implant there. Even after the eggs hatch, the young frogs develop through the tadpole stage inside these skin pockets. They eventually emerge from the mother's back as fully developed froglets!