The MagaZine
Yellow and black Brazil-nut Poisonous Dart Frog and the Dyeing Poisonous Frog. Photo images by Richard Renda.
copyright 2004
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Chorus of Colors - Ribbet
Each time we take a journey through The Museum of Natural History Michael Walker is our guide. That is Michael in
the upper right. From June until October 2004 the Museum presents a grand array of frogs in beautiful colors and an
array of characteristics. Things you have never seen before. But do not be fooled by these pretty little creatures. They
can be very dangerous. Let's see where Michael is going to take us this time. The most poisonous animal is not a
snake or a spider. It's the beautiful little frog. Many frogs produce skin toxins but the Dart poison frogs from Central
and South America are the most potent of all. The Golden poison frog called Terribilis (the terrible) is so extremely
toxic that even just touching it can be dangerous. A single terribilis contains enough poison to kill 20,000 mice or 10
people. It is said to be the most poisonous animal on the earth. Most frogs are a green leafy color or muddy brown
to blend in with their environment. But the bright colors of some frogs make them hard to miss. Many poisonous
frogs are boldly colored as an advertisement that they are not good to eat. Yet some colorful frogs do not have
particularly toxic skins. These impostors gain protection from birds and other predators by looking dangerous.
The Mantella frogs from Madagascar hop around boldly in broad daylight with little to fear. Although they
are not especially poisonous their bright color mimics more toxic species and warn predators to stay away.
Such wonderous little creatures.
So so pretty.
And can be ... so so deadly.
What is a frog anyway ? Frogs, salamanders,
and caecilians are modern day amphibians.
They have no hair or scales covering their skin.
Also frogs are the only amphibians without tails.
Go ahead tell us that does not look like alien fingers. Descendants of E.T.: The Extraterrestial.
Welcome to the American Museum of Natural History. www.AMNH.org ... where all are welcomed.
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