Editor's Summary

16 February 2006

Raising cane


The introduction of the cane toad into Australia 70 years ago has been a disaster. Initially meant to control insect pests in fields of sugar-cane, they rapidly became pests themselves. Both the tadpole and adult are toxic to predators, so native ecosystems are transformed when they arrive. Insight into their alarming rate of spread, which has increased fivefold since their arrival, is presented this week, and the news is bad. It seems that toads at the invasion front have developed longer legs over the generations, adapting to accelerate their expansion into new areas.

Brief CommunicationsInvasion and the evolution of speed in toads

Cane toads seem to have honed their dispersal ability to devastating effect over the generations.

Benjamin L. Phillips, Gregory P. Brown, Jonathan K. Webb and Richard Shine

doi:10.1038/439803a

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