What does a pebble toad do for its ecosystem?



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    The pebble toad (Oreophrynella niger) is part of the tepui ecosystem in the Guinia highlands in Venezuala. The tepui is a kind of table-top mountain or mesa emerging from the rainforest. Because the sand-stone tepui is protected from the surrounding rainforests, the creatures which inhabit it are quite different from the rainforest creatures. The pebble toad is markedly different from the rainforest toads. It does not hop very far nor does it swim with any dexterity. Rather, the inch-long amphibian rolls itself into a ball and bounces up and down the mountain. Regarding its particular relationships with its ecosystem, the pebble toad feeds on smaller insects and serves as prey for mountain tarantulas.

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