One of the world’s most toxic species of animals is also one of its smallest. The poison dart frog has so much poison in some species variations that it can kill 20,000 mice. Their vibrant colors may be beautiful, but they also serve as a visual warning. If a predator would try to eat one of these tiny frogs, the colors say that they’d get a mouthful of poison too.
1. Many Different Variations
Scientists and researchers have discovered 100+ variations of poison dart frogs throughout the world. Each species has a different set of colors and patterns which make them unique. It is believed that these color variations evolved to help the frogs be able to blend into their natural environment.
2. A Love For Insects
Here’s some good news about this toxic creature: their favorite food is a spider. They’ll also eat any other insects they can find down on the forest floor. They capture their food by using a tongue that is super long and sticky.
3. A Real Father
After the eggs are laid, it is the male poison dart frogs that periodically check on them to make sure they are all right. When the eggs hatch into tadpoles, they’ll climb onto their father’s back so they can be placed into a pond or other body of water so they can grow up. Once they reach their new home, the tadpoles are then on their own.
4. A Dietary Issue
Many poison dart frogs aren’t actually poisonous if they are living in captivity. That’s because these frogs are typically fed a regular diet of crickets. This has led researchers to believe that the poison develops from the insects that they eat. Most of the frogs live in either Central or South America and prefer the wet environment of the tropical rainforest.
5. Athlete’s Frog?
A fungal infection can compromise the system of a poison dart frog very quickly. The same anti-fungal treatments that are used for athlete’s foot in humans can be used to cure these frogs of a life-threatening infection.
Poison dart frogs are one of the most colorful creatures in the world today. Only 3 are known to be dangerous to humans, but that doesn’t mean we should not heed the warning their colors offer.