The Poison Dart Frog
by Connor Sirota
The poison dart frog lives in the rainforests of Central and South America. They’re called poison dart frogs because of the patterns and colors of their skin and because men used the poison from their skin for their blowdarts.
As beautiful as they are, they’re very dangerous. The patterns and colors of their skin tell animals that they’re poisonous. Poison Dart Frogs (scientific name Dendrobatidae) are amphibians and carnivores, eating a diet of ants, centipedes, termites, and small beetles. Their skin is not poisonous when they’re born, but the skin becomes poisonous because they eat poisonous insects. Any poison dart frog raised by a human is not toxic or poisonous because it does not eat poisonous insects. Wild poison dart frogs have enough poison that touching one could severely injure you. One kind of dart frog known as the golden poison frog (//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_poison_frog) has enough poison to kill 10 men. It would be a bad idea for a predator to eat a dart frog, except for one snake called Leimadophis Epinephelus.
These frogs live 3 to 15 years and only grow to a size of 1 inch (size of a paperclip). They can come in colors of gold, silver, blue, black, yellow, copper, red, and green. To keep them safe, many dart frogs carry tadpoles and eggs on their backs until they find a bromeliad (a flower) in a tree. Then they set each egg and tadpole in a tiny pool of water in separate bromeliads. To make sure the tadpoles don’t get hungry, the mother dart frog will lay unfertilized eggs into the pool of water for the tadpoles to eat.
There are more than 200 species of poison dart frogs, and about 50 of the species are endangered because of loss of rainforest habitat. They are beautiful creatures and are very cool animals.
To learn more about these beautiful creatures, check out the links below.