Scientists trying to study a Horny Toad were in for a surprise this week, when instead of photographing an amorous amphibian, their camera-trap caught a randy piece of wood.
Yellow Lipped Horny Toads are rare and notoriously difficult to find. So, when Dr Pete Bogg and his companion Professor Holly Bush were given the opportunity to study them, they jumped at the chance. However, their search for horny toads was fruitless, but it did lead them to discover the answer to a riddle that has been baffling scientists and philosophers for centuries:”If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
“It’s quite amazing,” said Professor Bush. “When you physically look at the actual trees they are firm and unmoving, solidly standing side by side and there is no touching between them. Yet, the photo we took clearly shows the two trees in the act of bark to bark contact – what we scientists like to call kissing.”
“This is real evidence that trees move when no one is around to see them. And that lets us logically conclude that they can also make sounds when no one is around to hear them. You know, I always thought trees were a bit boring, a bunch of stick in the muds, but this photo proves that they actually have a wild and varied social life.
“This photo opens up the world to a whole new set of possibilities. We will need to study trees, wooden furniture and other things made from wood… like pencils, to see if they are all at it behind our backs. “
Professor Bush’s companion Dr Bogg is slightly less enthusiastic about the find.
“I was hoping to capture footage of the yellow lipped horny toad you know,” explained Dr Bogg. “But we got a stiff tree. “
The two scientists have been asked to continue their research and hopefully capture more of the trees movements on film. They aim to take some higher quality and more revealing photos.
“We need to take more detailed photos. Find out what really makes the sap rise,” added Professor Bush. “We must learn as much as we can… we would be barking mad not.”