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Daniel Mennill

UWindsor biological sciences PhD student Katrina Switzer is working with 3D-printed yellow toads in the forests of Costa Rica to see how females choose among similarly coloured males.UWindsor biological sciences PhD student Katrina Switzer is working with 3D-printed yellow toads in the forests of Costa Rica to see how females choose among similarly coloured males.

Researchers use 3D printed toads in the wild

When the rains eventually blanket northwest Costa Rica, ushering in the country’s wet season, a booming chorus of yellow toads will fill the tropical forest.

And the moment that rain starts to fall, UWindsor’s Katrina Switzer will race to a pond in Santa Rosa National Park where she’ll match 3D printed “Robotoads” with unsuspecting mates.

“The Neotropical Yellow Toads have a large breeding event that really only happens once a year during the first massive rainfall,” Switzer explained, adding the rain usually starts falling in the middle of the night.