Poison Dart Frogs

1. This cute, tiny, colorful tree frog is poisonous enough to kill large animals that just lightly brush against it. “Poison dart frogs,” as they are called, live on the ground in tropical rain forests. A slimy secretion from the frog’s skin can soak into the skin of any animal who touches the frog, and chemicals in this slime can interfere with brain function, or even cause death.
2. Poison dart frogs come in a variety of colors and patterns, including vibrant blue spotted, yellow and black striped, green, red, or even purple. The bright colors announce to the world that frogs are poisonous, so potential predators don’t try to eat the frogs as snacks. A full-grown male poison dart frog is only about three-quarters of an inch long.
3. Although they sort of look like darts themselves, poison dart frogs actually got their name from some native South Americans who rub the frogs’ poison onto darts for hunting. By carefully picking up the frogs with leaves or cloth to protect their hands from the frogs’ skin, these hunters rub the tips of the darts in the skin secretions and then allow the darts to dry. The poisonous arrows are then used to bring down large animals. The poison is so potent that the darts will remain toxic for over a year.

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