Poison Dart Frogs (Dendobatidae) are probably the most toxic animals alive. With their Vivid and clear colouration and markings, you could easily mistake these as been one of the best visual animals to see. But don’t get too close……….
On Today’s blog, the animal featuring is the Poison Dart Frog, these creatures originate from the wet, humid tropical forests located in Central and South America. Measuring only about a 1/2 to 2 inches long, they are hard to see, this works great along with their surroundings. They can be found ascending the towering trees or simply under logs and leaves on the rainforest floor. The reason for their name Poison Dart Frog is due to native Indian tribes reportedly rubbing their arrow tips on the frogs’ backs before hunting comes from America. Out of the 170 species of these frogs, only 4 get used to secrete their toxins on the end of arrows/darts. The bright colouration is fascinating, to say the least, they get this pigmentation from the toxins they get from their diet.
Constantly they are foraging amongst the leaf litter in order to search for mites, termites,
tiny beetles and any other small insect it may find along the way. After all, you can actually keep these as pets and handle them from time to time. The toxins that the frog acquires is from the wild insects it eats. Their diet in captivity is varied to eliminate toxicity. Poison frogs can be heard calling in the flooded forest. Most species of frogs have well-developed vocal structures capable of producing a variety of sounds that serve to attract mates, advertise territories or express distress. The sound production is often the most common form of communication in animals that jump or fly because they would otherwise have a difficult time communicating by scent. Due to their toxic nature and because of the colour they are this drives off any potential predators wanting to get anywhere close to these animals. However, when the frogs are newly born this is where they are most vulnerable to lizards, other amphibians and invertebrates.
These animals are facing threat in the wild due to the rainforests slowly degrading day by day because of humans. Another interesting trait that the male frogs have adapted over time is parenting. Poison dart frogs have a behaviour which is quite unusual for amphibians. The frogs can produce all year round, this is more common to happen during when rainfall occurs. The male will find a female and take her back to a site which is suitable for her to lay her eggs. This is usually a moist and dark pile of leaf litter. The
Courtship behaviour can last for several hours and normally, the pair visits several
deposition sites before they start mating. The female will usually deposit her eggs and the male will go over and fertilise the eggs. The clutch size can vary from one to up to 40 eggs per clutch.The pair will usually guard the eggs to make sure that they do not dry out. After about 10 to 18 days the egg will hatch, the unusual trait is that the frog will then let the tadpoles get a ride to some water this is also known as “backpacking”.
An Interesting Fact You Didn’t Know Before Reading This!!!!
The golden poison dart frog is considered one of the most toxic animals on Earth. A single specimen measuring two inches (five centimetres) has enough poison to kill ten grown men.