Poison Dart Frog

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by jbor4974
Last updated 7 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Animals
Grade:
6

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Poison Dart Frog

Poison Dart Frog

Food

Reproduction

In the wild, Poison dart frogs feed mostly on spiders and small insects such as ants and termites, which they find on the forest floor using their excellent vision. They capture their prey by using their long sticky tongues. But in the oo they would eat small crickets daily.

Vibrant but toxic, poison arrow frogs range from less than an inch to two and a half inches in body length. It is the skin that contains the frog's poison. These beautiful colors are warnings to potential predators that the frogs are poisonous. Other species, such as monarch butterflies, sport bright colors to advertise their toxicity. Several species of non-poisonous frogs evolved with similar coloring to avoid being eaten. Some scientists think that the reticulated pattern of the frogs also acts as camouflage among the forest shadows.

Male frogs go through an elaborate ritual to attract a mate. The males vocalize, a loud trill sound, to attract females. Once the courtship ritual is complete, the females deposit dozens of eggs on leaves. During the two-week development period, the male returns to the eggs periodically to check on them. Once the tadpoles hatch, they swim onto the male’s back and are attached by a mucus secretion, which keeps them from falling off. The male carries them to a place suitable for further development, such as wet holes in broken trees and branches, little ponds, wet coconut shells, and even in tin cans and car tires. Once at their final destination, the tadpoles are on their own. They need an additional three months to metamorphose into small frogs.

Characteristics

Fun Fact:In 1999 a Zoo pathologist published his discovery of a then-mysterious infection that was afflicting and eventually killing poison arrow frogs and white’s tree frogs. Through his effort, cutaneous chytridiomycosis was documented for the first time as a vertebrate parasite. The veterinarians along with keepers and pathologists also developed a treatment for the chytrids. The same antifungal that is used to kill athletes’ foot in humans can be used with the frogs and toads.

Fun Fact:Poison dart frogs, also called poison arrow frogs, are so named because some Amerindian tribes have used their secretions to poison their darts. Not all arrow frogs are deadly, and only three species are very dangerous to humans. The most deadly species to humans is the golden poison arrow frog (Phyllobates terribilis). Its poison, batrachotoxin, can kill many small animals or humans. These frogs are found in Colombia along the western slopes of the Andes. Arrow frogs are not poisonous in captivity. Scientists believe that these frogs gain their poison from a specific arthropod and other insects that they eat in the wild. These insects most likely acquire the poison from their plant diet.

Animal Name: Poison Dart FrogScientific Name: Dendrobates azureus Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: Amphibia Order: AnuraFamily: DendrobatidaeGenus: DendrobatesSpecies: azureus


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