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Last Updated: Tuesday March 27 2007 16:15 GMT

Toxic toad is the size of a dog

Toadzilla the cane toad

A massive cane toad the size of a small dog has been captured in Australia.

Nicknamed Toadzilla, the huge hopper is about 20cm long - more than twice the size of the average cane toad!

The warty amphibian has a very powerful venom and was caught during a hunt in Darwin. It is the biggest cane toad ever found in the Northern Territory.

Residents are trying to get rid of the poisonous pests because their numbers are growing too quickly and they harm other animals that try to eat them.

Cane toads originally come from South America
Cane toads (Latin name Bufo marinus) can weigh up to 2kg
They are toxic and spread quickly
They are spreading at a rate of more than 50km a year
They can live for 15 years in the wild
Females lay 4,000 to 36,000 eggs at least twice a year

The toads were first released in Queensland in the 1930s to help stamp out cane beetles.

But since then their numbers have multiplied and they've marched in their millions across the country - some experts think there could be as many as 200 million of them!



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