The good news is that they know now why those toads have been exploding at that pond in Hamburg. The bad news is that it’s because crows are swooping down and plucking out the toads’ livers. “The crows are clever,” says a veterinary surgeon. “They learn very quickly from watching other crows how to get the livers.” You might recall last week’s descriptions of the amphibs swelling to massive size and then bursting, spewing their innards some distance. The swelling is a form of self defense against the toad, but a peck from a crow trying to get at its liver wreaks havoc, causing a toad’s blood vessels to explode, lungs collapse, and other organs ooze out. It’s like a Monty Python sketch.
PETA is perplexed, not knowing quite how to properly protest the crows’ unspeakable treatment of amphibians. But the French are licking their lips anticipating the culinary prospect of chopped toad livers with garlic and black pepper.