Unlike other toads, the Surinam toad has an unusual way of reproducing. Males call to the females by making a clicking sound underwater. A willing female releases 60 to 100 eggs, and the male fertilizes them and pushes the eggs onto her back, where they stick to her skin. During the next few days, her skin grows up and around the eggs, forming a honeycomb structure of pockets, and eventually encloses them completely. After hatching, the young ride on her back for three to four months, continuing to develop under her skin.
When ready, the fully formed toadlets push and squirm to loosen the female’s skin; the pockets on her back open up to reveal the snouts and waving feet of the toadlets! When they’re ready, they pop out of their holes and head for the water’s surface to breathe and begin life on their own. The little toads can start snapping at food right away, and don’t care if that food happens to be a sibling! The mother then sheds her skin, ready for the next breeding season.