Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/26/mutant_cane_toads/

Oz Territory terrorized by MUTANT CANE TOADS!

‘The extra arm suits you’

By Richard Chirgwin

Posted in Science, 26th September 2011 01:00 GMT

Northern Territory News, usually famous for a daily diet of crocodile stories and close to Weekly World News for credibility, has unleashed a new horror on the world: the five-legged cane toad.

Cane toads are already a serious pest in Australia: released into the wild in the 1930s to protect sugar cane against a beetle, they’ve become endemic in the tropics, out-competing indigenous amphibians and, because they’re poisonous, killing any predator that’s stupid enough to eat them.

They’re established throughout tropical Queensland and the Northern Territory and as far south as northern New South Wales, with individuals spotted as far south as Sydney. They’ve inspired movies, and attempts to hold back the tide generally appeal to the more grisly entertainments, like cane toad golf.

Their march across northern Australia has even selected for toads with longer legs, to such a degree that they're developing arthritis.

And now, according to the truly fabulous NT News, they’re turning up with five legs.

Actually, the phenomenon isn’t completely new: if the provincial tabloid is to be believed, the first time a Bufo Marinus showed up in Jake the Peg costume was 2007. But the mutation seems to be repeating, as the pic accompanying this article shows.

Trust me here: nobody in Australia welcomes our new amphibian overlords. ®