Recently got a pet toad, and I am wondering at what point after feeding meal worms do the worms die? I noticed that they are definitely still squirmy when in his mouth and he swallows them whole. Worms can also survive for several weeks under water provided there is sufficient oxygen in the water to support them, which means the only way they are dying is via . So how long does it take the worms to be sufficiently digested to the point where they stop moving?


1 Answer 1

  1. A toad has no teeth to chew on worms, so they are alive when swallowed.
  2. The toads stomach is not filled with water, but with acid. As soon as the acid dissolves the worms skin / shell, its body cannot keep life functions going. Since meal worms don't have an internal skeleton and are more like a fluid than tissue inside, they will simply flow appart and die.

I don't know how long the acid takes to dissolve a worms shell. You could search on google or do some gross experiment, but I doubt it takes longer that some minutes.

Fun fact: Toads cannot swallow with their eyes open. They cannot transport the food into their stomach with their tongue and throat like mammals do. Instead they pull their eyeballs down into the skull to push the food into the stomach.

  • ... +1 for the "fun fact" lol Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 20:48

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