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Photo & Story Credit:CBS THIS MORNING
No, this cane toad has not sprouted wings.
It apparently tried to swallow a bat, according to the Web site for "Rainforest Expeditions," a Peruvian ecotourism company.
The photo was taken by a park ranger, Yufani Olaya, at Peru's Cerros de Amotape National Park, the Web site said.
It appears the bat flew too close to the ground, and as described by Olaya, "out of nowhere the bat just flew directly into the mouth of the toad, which almost seemed to be sitting with its mouth wide open."
Christopher J. Raxworthy, an associate curator of herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, told CBSNews.com that cane toads can eat live mice, and would likely try for a bat if the opportunity arose.
"Cane toads are large and powerful predators, and will eat almost anything that moves, that can fit in their large mouths," Raxworthy said.
But he noted that bats roost off the ground, and said it was unlikely that the toad had caught the bat as it was flying. Perhaps the bat, maybe a vampire bat, was feeding on the ground, or had somehow been stunned briefly, he said. By sticking its long wings out of the bat's mouth, it can prevent itself from being swallowed.
Which, according to the Web site, is exactly what happened.
According to Olaya, the toad finally gave up and spat out the bat.
"While Olaya at first thought the bat was dead, he said it slowly recovered and was able to fly away," the biologist Phil Torres wrote on the site.