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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Red and Blue Poison Arrow Frog

Photo Credit: National Geographic Kids
The red and blue poison arrow frog's jewel-like color stands out from the rich rainforest vegetation as a warning that it is one of the most poisonous animals on earth.

For centuries, the poison arrow frog has provided South American Indians with poison for the tips of arrows and blowpipe darts. For predators, swallowing a frog means certain death, and even licking one can prove fatal.

Like all amphibians, poison arrow freogs must stay moist to survive. The red and blue species lives in Costa Rican rainforest. The constantly steamy, wet environment reduces the frog's need for streams and pools.

Some frogs protect themselves from larger predators such as snakes and hawks by secreting mild poisons from the skin to make themselves taste foul.

Did you know?
  • Only one natural predator may hunt the poison arrow frog; the snake Leimadophis espinephelus seems to be immune to the toxins. 
  • This family includes some of the smallest frogs in the world: Dendrobates minutus grows to only a half inch. 
  • Scientists discover new species of poison arrow continually in their tropical forest explorations. Still, their habitat may be destroyed before scientists can account for them.

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