Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Blow up

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Toads in an area of northern Germany are being killed off by a mysterious disease -- they are exploding.

Thousands of the amphibians have died in recent days in a pond in Hamburg's Altona district, with their bodies swelling to bursting point.

The toads' entrails are propelled for up to a metre (3.2ft), in scenes that have been likened to science fiction.

Scientists are baffled. Possible explanations include a unknown virus or a fungus in the pond.

Odd and disturbing and, well, horrifying.

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