If you've lived in Southwest Florida long enough, you've seen these annoying jumpers. Experts constantly warn about keeping pets away from dangerous sugar cane amphibians, but their poison can actually help you in the future.
Kane toads are probably in your backyard and deadly.
"I know they are super important for some reason," said Alexis Fulton, a University of Florida Gulf Coast University.
"More and more sugar cane amphibians in this area primarily from increased development," said Taylor Hancock, a FGCU graduate student. "Any kind of pet like a dog or cat … can potentially kill them."
But these toads & toxins can have a potential benefit to your health.
Dr. Martha Rosenthal, a professor of neuroscience and physiology at the FGCU, said that these amphibians have some anti-inflammatory and anticancer interventions that can one day help those with destructive diseases.
A chemical in the toads affects serotonin. It is similar to antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. Men Dr. Rosenthal does not warn herself of researching research.
"I feel the need to say, don't go licking amphibians because there are some toxic substances in there, and it's not going to be fun," said Dr. Rosenthal.
With rain coming this week, you'll probably see more amphibians jumping around in Southwest Florida. In these small leathery huddles, the potentially useful chemicals are mixed with the mortals. That's why we need many studies before everything goes into a pill bottle.
"I don't think it's just going to be in CVS [Pharmacy]," says Dr. Rosenthal. "But if after many years of study we find an approved medical use, then it can be a time scheduling tool."
Until then, we must be cautious about advocating the toad invasion, while the researchers are working on what can be some great medical breakthroughs.