Gorgeous But Deadly

Ever since I saw a blue poison dart frog on the cover of my Ranger Rick magazine, I knew I was hooked on the animals. I was young and didn’t have a favorite color, so I just mashed them all together in my dreams. And my dreams came to life in the magazine, except the mashed up colors came out in the shape of frogs.

 

Poison Dart Frog

Photo courtesy flickr creative commons: Chester Zoo

 

Poison dart frogs - also known as poison arrow frogs - are beautiful and deadly. Some scientists think that the Golden Poison Dart Frog is the most poisonous animal in the world. If you consumed poison from it equal to the volume of two grains of table salt, you would die.
    
Poison dart frogs are kept as pets in North America. They are desirable because of their colorful skin and their uniqueness. Once in an enclosed habitat, they lose all of their poison and can be held and touched.
    
But if poison dart frogs are kept as pets, someone has to catch them. That someone will have to travel to Central or South America, in countries such as Nicaragua, Costa Rica, or Ecuador. I would readily agree to be that someone.
    
Catching poison dart frogs is a dangerous business. Once they are handled, you cannot touch any part of your body until your hands have been very thoroughly washed to get the poison off. Only three kinds of poison dart frogs have strong enough poison to kill you, but the other ones will make you wish you were dead.
    
Although we can die from these frogs poison, some animals, like snakes, can eat them without suffering any side effects.
    
But before I start gallivanting around the rainforest on a search for just one of over a hundred different kinds of beautiful frogs, all smaller than half the size of a nickel, I’m going to need some experience with other poisonous animals so I know what it is the best way to handle them. Such as the box jellyfish, found in the oceans of Asia and Australia, or the King Cobra, found in the jungles of China and India. And, having worked with these poisonous animals, I will have also worked with people of several different cultures and learned their language and their ways so I am able to contribute effectively to the scientific team.
    
Some of the most beautiful poison dart frogs are the Phantasmal Poison Dart Frog, which looks like a peppermint, the Blue Poison Dart Frog, the Green and Black Poison Dart Frog, and the Blue Jeans Poison Dart Frog.
    
These frogs are my favorite amphibians, and someday I am going to go South America and see them in the wild. Because they are just so magnificent and staggering, and I just can’t keep my eyes off of them.
    
They are small, they are amazing, and they are gorgeous but deadly.

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