No scientific basis for the belief

Posted by Bobba on Jun 30, 2002 at 16:46

Re: frogs (jay)

Warts are caused by a virus, not by frogs.

Some frogs have many bumps on their skin that that look like warts but they are not. This is what probably led to the myth that frogs can give you warts: Old wife picks up frog. Old wife gets a wart. Ergo, frog gave old wife wart. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Tale is born!

Now, on the other hand, some toads have large bumps (parotoid glands) that excrete a poison. It irritates the mouth of any predators who try to eat them and may even cause death. For that reason, along with serious salmonella concerns, wash your hands afterwards handling them.

As an interesting aside, the Cane toad produces a toxin called bufotenine, which the toad secretes to ward off predators. In humans, the toxin acts as a hallucinogen and some folk have taken to first screaming at them to get them to excrete the toxin and licking it off. Now, i'm really not one to judge another, but that's a pretty sorry way to catch a buzz IMO.

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