The cane toad, being venomous, can usually kill the creature that consumes it. Granted, that's cool from a revenge perspective -- it's undoubtedly Inigo Montoya's spirit animal -- but it's ultimately not all that great of a deal for either animal involved, which is what makes it all the more incredible that scientists introduced the cane toad into the Australian quoll's environment on purpose.
Needless to say, it has unleashed something of a quoll holocaust.
If "Quoll Holocaust" isn't a heavy metal band by the end of this article, we have grossly misread our audience.
See, the ovulation-inducing cuteness of the quoll is matched only by its savagery; if quolls can fit their adorable wee jaws around something's spine, it's dead meat. Given that a cane toad's only defense strategy is to sit there stupidly and hope its poison saves the day, their meetings end in a nil-all draw with two very dead animals regretting their life decisions. But the quolls are losing the long game: Wherever the toads go, the quoll population crashes.
But never fear, quolls -- science is here to help! In an effort to teach quolls to make better dietary choices, researchers from the University of Sydney figured that if they could make cane toads taste like they're lethal, quolls might just avoid them. So they chopped up a few cane toads, laced them with cattle dewormer, and fed them to the quolls, who wolfed down their special dinner. Then the poison kicked in and the poor little guys "pawed at their faces" in adorable distress as the nausea took hold.
D'aww. Who wouldn't want to poison a face like that?
A dick move, to be sure.
But it's working, as some quolls decided that they would permanently give up cane toad for Lent. Which is nice, but we imagine others are still shuddering out in the woods somewhere, recalling the night that science gave them the worst shits this side of second-day Chick-Fil-A.