Spadefoots are unique from true toads; at least two species occur on the Navajo Nation. They have vertical pupils, like a cat, and have a sickleshape 'spade' on each rear foot which are used for burrowing into the soil. These toads are uniquely adapted for desert dwelling too. They stay burrowed most of the year to conserve moisture and energy, and are mostly nocturnal, avoiding potential moisture loss during the day. Spadefoots are active above ground only for a month or two during summer monsoon periods. They have very quick hatching eggs and fast growing larvae so that they can breed in the temporary pools of water formed by summer rains..
Frogs and Toads are called "Ch'ąl" in the Navajo language. Traditional Navajo People consider them as sacred and have great respect for frogs and toads. It is said that they are the controllers of moisture on earth. One should not kill or harm frog and toads.