Only God Could Build The Golden Poison Frog
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Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2012
by Joel Hendon
You may not have heard of the golden poison ‘dart’ frog. And if you haven’t, count your blessings. These very small frogs are found in a relatively small area of the tropical rain forest in western Columbia near he Pacific coast. Even though their area is rather small they are abundant there. Because of the continued decimation of the rain forest, this frog is now on the international endangered list. The coloring varies depending on where they are found. They may be bright yellow, orange or even pale green. They change shades to be less noticeable to predators within their area. This little frog is only about an inch long. They thrive where the temperature is above 26 degrees centigrade and the humidity is 80-90%.
Their poison is deadly. There are records of humans dying from merely touching the frog. And there are also records of chickens and dogs having died from contact with a paper towel on which a golden poison frog had walked. Read this from Wikipedia:
The average dose carried will vary between locations, and consequent local diet, but the average wild P. terribilis is generally estimated to contain about one milligram of poison, enough to kill about 10,000 mice. This estimate will vary in turn, but most agree this dose is enough to kill between 10 and 20 humans, which correlates to up to two African bull elephants. This is roughly 15,000 humans per gram. (Wikipedia-Golden poison frog)
Many refer to these frogs as Golden poison dart frogs which is derived from the fact that indigenous natives have used the poison for centuries on the tips of their blow-gun darts in their hunting.
This amazing frog has been studied for years to try and find a use for this strong poison in medicine. They believe that it can be harnessed into producing a good pain killer.
Their studies have produced some interesting facts. The baby frogs are not born with toxicity. When these frogs are captured and fed primarily fruit flies and tiny crickets, which have extremely little alkaloids, they eventually loose their poisonous characteristics. One factor which is suspect, is most of these frogs when in captivity, will not eat ants. Yet, in the wild, ants are a sizable portion of their diet. They feel that their native ants are probably different in taste than that of ours.
They have yet to determine what , of their prey, gives them the large amount of alkaloids or what causes it to become so deadly poisonous.
The moral of this story is, never give one of these golden frogs for a Christmas gift. To see several photos of these frogs in their varied colors, Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_poison_frog
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