This Is the Best "Scientists vs. Toad" Video You'll Ever Watch

Compared to videos of cats playing the piano and hamsters eating burritos, a video entitled "The Neuroethology of a Toad" might not get your attention. But this video is definitely worth your time — if only to see scientists pranking a toad.


The video is the first of a three-part series that shows us an actual experiment being conducted on a toad. In the first video, we get a description of what a toad does when it sees prey, and we see it respond - or not respond - to a bunch of "dummies." The dummies are line segments, and by moving them around inside a kind of toad battle arena we see that toads respond best to lines that are moving parallel to their length. We call this kind of thing "worm-like" while lines that are moving perpendicular to their length are "anti-wormlike."

In the next video, the toad gets anesthetized and wired up, and we get to see what goes on in its brain when it's making all these predatory movements at wormlike objects. Finally, we get the explanation for what's happening in the brain in the third video. Worth checking out, for a look at the scientific process, and for those with a general interest in toad-pranking.

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I was hoping for the toad to win: