Thousands of species adapt to extreme conditions of Llano Estacado

Playas are found everywhere on the Llano Estacado. Texas Tech professors produced a map of the more than 20,000 playas found in the region.

Written by: Jessica Behnham

The Llano Estacado is an amazing place. Thousands of species of plants and animals are adapted to extreme conditions of drought, wind, heat and the cold of winter. The wildlife intensely celebrates the irregular rains with phenomenal fecundity. The Llano Estacado has eight major habitats. Specific species are associated with a specific habitat.

Playas and toads

Rain brings us three of the most marvelous sights. From May to October, when rain fills the thousands of playas that dot the Llano Estacado, toads emerge from deep underground and steadily hop (sometimes as far 2 miles) to a filled playa. For the next two nights the songs of six species can be heard for miles. Each species can only hear the song of their species, and each species clusters at a specific depth of water to mate and lay eggs.

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