Can Toads Swim? Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know

Can toads swim? Frogs are good swimmers. Toads are also a type of frog. But most toads live on land. have you ever wondered if they can swim or not? Are they good swimmers? Stay with us in all amphibian to find out.

toads and swimming



In general, toads can swim, but they are not good swimmers. Aquatic frogs are good swimmers because they have webs between their toes that help them to swim. But toads have sharp claws, which are mostly good for digging in the ground. Toads breed in water but spend very little time there.

Unlike aquatic frogs, toads cannot swim well. This is mainly because their physical characteristics are very different from those of aquatic frogs, as toads are not designed for swimming or spending their lives in water. Aquatic frogs and toads have different physical adaptations to survive in their respective environments.


Can toads swim underwater?

can toads swim underwater?

Unlike aquatic frogs, which have webbed feet, are excellent swimmers, and live their entire lives in water, toads have toes, or shovel-like feet, that help them navigate, dig, and burrow underground. So toads cannot swim underwater. Toads breed in water but spend very little time there.

All toads are amphibians and therefore spend part of their lives in water and on land. Like frogs, toads are born in water but live on land. They live near forests, waterholes, ponds, and even in urban areas. Toads do not need to live in or near water like tree frogs or water frogs.

Before metamorphosis, toads live and feed in water and breathe through gills. And so, as frogs, toads are excellent swimmers. But when they pass the metamorphosis stage and become adult toads, they lose their tails and no longer need to live in water.

As adult toads, they lose their swimming skills. Therefore, they spend most of their adult lives on land and out of water.


Why can’t toads swim very well?

why can't toads swim very well

Toads cannot swim very well like other frogs because their hind legs are not strong or webbed to propel them through the water. Toads have short legs, a stocky body, and finger-like toes that help them dig.

Aquatic frogs have different physical characteristics, including webbed feet and strong and long hind legs that sit like springs, allowing them to jump and swim easily. These organs are used for navigation, swimming, and balanced landing.

Toads reproduce in water. Therefore, they can swim in the water to reproduce and not drown. But after reproduction, they don’t stay there and leave the water. Due to their physical limitations, toads cannot swim like aquatic frogs. They submerge and swim slowly, not as fast and agile as frogs.


Can toads drown?

Toads have lungs and, like humans will drown if their lungs are filled with water. Toads can also breathe through their skin. Like frogs, their skin needs to be moist, so if their skin dries out they can’t absorb oxygen as well.

But their skin needs less moisture than frogs and is not as sensitive to dryness as frogs. They absorb oxygen in the water through their skin. But if there is not enough oxygen they will drown.

Compared to frogs, which have fragile, mucous skin, toads have thicker and tougher skin, which is why it is more difficult for toads to breathe underwater. But this amount of breathing is enough for the toad to survive.

Some amphibians cannot breathe underwater, although they can hold their breath underwater for hours if needed. But toads can breathe in water to a great extent. Many factors affect the toad’s breathing underwater, the most important of which are:

  • Oxygen level

If the oxygen level of the water is low, the toads have trouble breathing, and at higher oxygen levels, they last longer in the water and breathe more easily.

  • Tempheture

Heat and cold affect the breathing of toads in water. Toads need more oxygen due to their metabolism. Cold water reduces the temperature and thus reduces the metabolism of the body. As a result, they need less oxygen and breathe easier in the water.

  • pollution

Water pollution also has a great effect on the breathing of toads. Even if the water the toads are in is very polluted or has a lot of nitrates in the water they will drown. Nitrate is dangerous for toads because it reduces oxygen in the water, causing them to drown.

How do toads breathe?

how do toads breathe?

Adult toads breathe like frogs. Toads can absorb the oxygen in the water through their skin. They can also drink water through their skin like frogs. But unlike frogs who keep their skin moist by sitting in water and drinking water.

Toads absorb the water they need from the moisture of plants and soil and keep their skin moist. Aquatic frogs should have direct access to water to breathe, drink and survive. They spend most of the day in the water.

They breathe in the water, rest in the water, and prevent their skin from drying out. This is known as cutaneous respiration. But toads do not need constant water and their skin is drier than frogs.

The skin of toads contains thousands of blood vessels and capillaries that are very close to the surface of the skin. They absorb dissolved oxygen in the water that is in contact with their skin, and at the same time, the carbon dioxide that is in the bloodstream passes through the skin and enters the water.


Toads can breathe in the following ways:

  • Like frogs, they can breathe through their skin and absorb oxygen from water and moisture from soil and plants. Some of them can even get the oxygen they need from the moisture of the mud during hibernation.
  • They have lungs and on land, toads can breathe through their lungs like humans. But they don’t have developed lungs.
  •  Toads can also breathe through their Oral cavities. The environment of their oral cavity can also absorb oxygen like their skin. When doing this, their mouth remains closed and they create suction by raising and lowering the floor of their mouth and bringing oxygen into their mouth through their nostrils.
  •  Toads have gills when they are tadpoles and can breathe through their gills like fish and get oxygen from the water.


Do toads like to swim?

do toads like to swim?

Adult toads are not good swimmers, so they are not interested in swimming. They only go to the water for reproduction and when they are forced to. But as a tadpole, they live completely in water and are constantly swimming.

Toads are amphibians and begin their lives in water. When they reach adulthood, they leave the water, unlike adult frogs who mostly live near water for most of their lives. After entering puberty, toads live mostly on land.

They usually live within a mile of their birthplace. They only need fresh water to reproduce. Like other species of frogs, toads also lay eggs in water. Toad eggs need water to grow and become tadpoles.

As a tadpole, toads can neither breathe on land nor have legs to walk on land. Therefore, toads live in water for the first 16 weeks of their lives and are good swimmers.

After about 16 weeks, the toads have strong bodies. Now they can breathe on land, their tail is absorbed by their body and their legs are formed and they can move on land. Now they are not interested in swimming anymore.

At this stage, they have everything they need to live on land and leave the water. Toads usually return to the waters of their birth only when they reach sexual maturity.



Toads are amphibians. Like frogs, they start their lives in water. as a tadpole, their life is completely dependent on water and they cannot live outside of water. They swim in water like fish and have gills.

But after 16 weeks they enter adulthood. Lose their gills and tail. Toads leave the water after reaching puberty and return to the water only to reproduce and lay eggs. They can swim in the water, but they are not good swimmers.

Unlike toads, frogs have long and elongated legs and have webs between their toes that help them to swim. But Toads have shorter and more powerful legs, and their claws are suitable for digging the ground. That is why they are not good swimmers.

Like frogs, toads can get oxygen from the water through their skin. But their skin is not as sensitive to dryness as the skin of frogs. They have hard and strong skin. They do not need direct access to water like frogs. Toads can absorb oxygen from the moisture of plants, soil, and mud.



  • Can toads swim?

Toads can stay submerged in water and swim, but they are not good swimmers.

  • Can toads swim underwater?

Unlike frogs, which have long legs and webbed toes that help them to swim, toads have short and powerful legs with sharp claws, which are more suitable for digging the ground. Therefore, toads cannot swim underwater.

  • Can toads drown?

Like humans, toads have lungs, and if their lungs are filled with water, they will drown.

  • How do toads breathe?

Like frogs, toads can absorb oxygen from the water through their skin. They have lungs and can breathe through their lungs on land. Also, the surface inside the mouth of toads, like their skin, can absorb oxygen.

  • Do toads like swimming?

Toads start their life in the water, but in adulthood, they leave the water and are not interested in swimming. They return to the water only to reproduce and spawn.

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