Friday, June 26, 2009

Golden Poison Frog


The Golden Poison Frog (Phyllobates terribilis), from the Pacific Coast of Colombia, is one of the over 100 frogs in the poison dart species.

It is also one of the most poisonous animals on earth. The venom contained in just one small frog (about 2 inches long) can kill 10 adults. It is the venom of this frog that has been used by the indigenous Embera people to tip their hunting darts.

Though they are called the "Golden" frog, not all of them are yellow in color. Some of the frogs are orange or light green. Their bright coloring warns predators to stay away.


Interestingly enough, Golden Poison Dart frogs are a common household pets worldwide. When I first read this, I thought --"You have got to be kidding me!" Then, upon further research, I found out that frogs raised in captivity -- out of their natural environment never develop venom. So, scientists believe that it is something in the environment, probably the plants that are eaten by the insects that serve as the frogs' prey, that causes the venom.

If you think that you might be interested in owning this little bit of Colombia, you can purchase a book on the care of poison frogs at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Owning-Poison-Frogs/dp/0793802520


Oh, I almost forgot, they are an endangered species because of habitat destruction.

* Photo by Stacina
http://www.flickr.com/photos/staci/462087200/sizes/l/

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