Did you know about the Poison Dart Frogs?
These frogs are dangerous as their skin glands contains the deadly toxins. Not all Poison Dart Frogs are deadly, some are just less toxic where they can paralyze their attackers or predators. The more poisonous species will be like the Golden Poison Frog. The Golden Poison Frog is so poisonous that just one milligram of its poison is strong enough to kill 10,000 mice!
(Citation 1 : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_dart_frog)
Poison Dart Frogs’ poison are Batrachotoxin, which are basically neurotoxins. So once the poison is ingested by the predator it will directly affect the nervous system of the victim. Once the nervous system is down the body won’t be able to function properly, causing death. Other animals also have neurotoxins as a defense or even a weapon. This includes animals like snakes, spiders and scorpions.
Do you know the differences between Poison and Venom? Venom is when the toxin is being injected directly to the body, like stings or fang bites. Poison is different as it’s only classified as that when the toxin is ingested.
It’s arguable that Poison Dart Frogs do not create their own toxins and rather that they feed on insects that consume poisonous plants around them, this allows the frog to accumulate the toxins within it with each insect it eats.
(Citation 2 : http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/Amazonia/Facts/fact-poisondartfrog.cfm)
The reason they are called poison dart frogs is that natives in the jungle discovered that these frogs are poisonous. So they decided to secrete the poison from the frog to apply on the tips of their weapons like arrows, hence the name Poison Dart Frog.
But just being poisonous is not enough to stop predators to try feeding on them. So these frogs have evolved to have brightly colored skin to detain predators from preying on them. Bright colors in the animal world is a way of saying “Hey back off, I’m poisonous. Eat me if you dare!”
Many animals in the world has also developed this tactic to prevent predators from eating them. Other animals like Monarch Butterflies and Coral Snakes also have brightly colored skin or patterns to fend off would-be predators.
Here’s another fun fact, did you know that the cute Platypus found in Australia has it’s own venom?
It does! The venom is located in the spur (like a small spike) which is on the hind limbs of the platypus which only the males have. This venom is rather unique. The venom doesn’t kill, but instead causes swelling and excruciating pain for weeks or even months! Victims claimed that the pain is so bad that it’s even worse than being shot by a gun! Also there’s no antidote for it, not even morphine is able to soothe the pain. So in short, never handle a platypus carelessly or you might just end up suffering from the venom for weeks!
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