Invasion, stress, and spinal arthritis in cane toads

Gregory P. Brown, Cathy Shilton, Benjamin L. Phillips, Richard Shine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


The impact of invasive species on biodiversity has attracted considerable study, but impacts of the invasion process on the invaders themselves remain less clear. Invading species encounter conditions different from those in their ancestral habitats and are subject to intense selection for rapid dispersal. The end result may be significant stress on individual organisms, with consequent health problems. Our studies on invasive cane toads in Australia reveal severe spinal arthritis in ≈10% of large adult toads, associated with the same factors (large body size, frequent movement, and relatively long legs) that have enabled toads to invade so rapidly across the Australian tropics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17698-17700
Number of pages3
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • anuran
  • invasive species
  • locomotion
  • spondylitis
  • colonization


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