American toad in exhibit

American Toad

Scientific Name

Anaxyrus americanus






Eastern United States and Canada


Forests, farms, and backyards

Estimated Wild Population

American toad in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN IUCN Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN

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Physical Description

American toads often have brown or green skin covered in colorful warts, as well as a white or yellow underbelly. These nocturnal toads spend the day hiding under rocks, logs, and leaves. At night, they use their long, sticky tongues to snag insects. American toads are solitary and only come together to breed. Males establish territories near ponds and attract mates with long, frequent calls.

Interesting Fact 1

American toads periodically shed their skin as they grow, but unlike other shedding species, they consume their old skin to retain nutrients.

Interesting Fact 2

They defend themselves against predators, such as snakes, by urinating on themselves or excreting a toxic, milky substance from their skin.

Interesting Fact 3

Their skin color changes in response to temperature, humidity, and stress.

Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care. 

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Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.  

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Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

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