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World's oldest toad is found in a UK garden

By Simon Meadows

Last updated 5/27/2011 1:03:21 PM

World's oldest toad is found in a UK garden

Scientists  believe they have found the world's oldest wild common toad, thriving in a UK garden.

Common toads are thought to live up to 12 years in the wild, but a toad, affectionately known as Georgie, has been living in a garden in Hull for over 38 years and is thought to be at least 40 years old.

University of York scientists came across Georgie during a garden survey that aims to encourage people to get back in touch with nature.

Community Scientist Sal Hobbs recently checked on Georgie's progress following its winter hibernation and was pleased to learn the toad is still thriving.

"As a young adult Georgie was given as a gift to a Hull resident as a way of protecting her tomato plants against pests," Sal said. " That was 38 years ago, so remarkably Georgie must be at least 40 years old now."

Toads are normally thought to live up to around 12 years old in the wild, although older animals have been found. Captive toads have been known to live a lot longer, to possibly 40 or 50 years old. Therefore, as a wild common toad of her age, Georgie might well be a world record-breaker.

Sal Hobbs added: "Common toads have recently been added to the UK Biodiversity Action Plan as a priority species for conservation. The large bumpy amphibians are often garden visitors and eat slugs and other garden invertebrates, making them popular with gardeners."




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by Achim
1274 day(s) 5 hour(s) 39 minute(s) ago
...and apparently he is a smoker and quite the party animal ;-))
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