Cheryl Harner's Flora and Butterfly Blog
Weedpicker's Journal: Discover the native plants of Ohio and the butterflies that utilize them.
Frogs are Bioindicators December 09, 2008

Frogs should be of great interest to any botanist or birder, as they are bioindicators: they tell us how we are doing as stewards of our environment. According to the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) were are not doing any to well! They have named 2008 The Year of the Frog in order to raise public awareness for the huge numbers of frogs and amphibians believed to be on a fast-track to extinction- nearly 1/3 of the total species!

The National Aquarium in Baltimore had a nifty display of Central American poison dart frogs, a fascinating study of species and their adaptations. Nature puts the "Sci" in science fiction! Writers couldn't begin to dream up the crazy protections invented by Nature. Who would guess this little yellowish frog has enough toxin to kill four men?

The Terrible Poison Dart Frog, Phyllobates terribillis is one of the less colorful of the poison dart frogs- but the "terribillis" in its name should be a clue as to what you may be up against. If you ever encounter them in the jungles, don't put one of these guys in your pocket to carry him home! Interestingly enough, captive raised poison dart frogs are not poisonous! It is believed they are not born with poison- but they acquire it through eating some very nasty ants. Zoo frogs collected from the wild, do not feed on ants and are believed to lose their toxicity over time as well. I still wouldn't suggest licking one!

2008-12-09 13:14:10 GMT
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