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Poison Dart Frog

Posted in Amphibians

Poison dart frogs are tiny poisonous frogs.  There are over 175 different species of poison dart frogs and all of them are toxic. Some of them are so toxic they can kill a human with their poison and one species, the golden poison frog, may be the most poisonous animal on earth.   Most of them are brightly colored and they are active during the day. They range in size from 1/2 inch fully grown, to 2 1/2 inches and weigh less than 1 ounce.

 

 


 

Where-do-they-live

Poison dart frogs live in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America.  They live in moist, humid places, usually around marshes, swamps, lakes and wetlands.  They live on the ground but can also be found in trees.

 

 

What-do-they-eat

Poison dart frogs are carnivores and eat only other animals.  Just like other frogs, they use their long sticky tongue to catch flies, ants, spiders and termites and other kinds of insects.  Unlike venomous animals, poison dart frogs do not use their poison to catch and eat their prey.  It is used strictly as a defense mechanism.  Most scientists believe that their body makes the poison  from chemicals in the foods that they eat.

 

What-are-their-predators

Most predators know that the bright colors of the poison dart frog mean “stay away!”  The brighter the colors of the frog, the more deadly it is when eaten, but the fire-bellied snake doesn’t pay a bit of attention to that.  It’s the only animal immune to the poison dart frog’s toxin.

 

 

What-are-their-defenses

The poison dart frog stores poison in special organs in its skin.  When this poison enters the bloodstream of another animal, including humans, it can kill it within minutes.  Of course, how deadly it is, depends on the species.  Most animals that would eat frogs know not to eat the poison dart frog because of its bright colors which serve as a warning that they are not food.

 

 

Did-you-know

there is a difference between venomous and poisonous?  A venomous animal is one that injects a toxin into its victim. A poisonous animal is one that is toxic when eaten. The poison dart frog is poisonous.

 

 

Danger-scale

Deadly when eaten or exposed to a cut or wound.

 

 

My-favorite-thing

about the poison dart frog is how they secrete their poison when they are threatened.  It sweats out of their skin and forms a froth on their back.

 

 

Can-you-believe

 

the golden poison frog has enough toxin to kill 10-20 adult humans.  It may be the most poisonous animal on earth!

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