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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Nov 6;104(45):17698-700. Epub 2007 Oct 19.

Invasion, stress, and spinal arthritis in cane toads.

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006, Australia.


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 approximately 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.

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  • The ailing invader. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007]
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