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Poison Dart Frogs - Poison Frogs

Poison Dart Frogs, in the family Dendrobatidae, are sometimes referred to as “Dart Frogs” or “Poison Frogs” and are perhaps some of the most beautiful of all the South American Rainforest creatures. Poison Dart Frogs are small forest dwelling frogs ranging in size from just over 2 centimeters as with the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates pumilio), to the larger 3 inch Dyeing Poison Frog (Dendrobates tinctorius).
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Poison Dart Frogs
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Poison Dart Frogs were obviously named after the poison they secrete from their skin. South American Tribesmen or Indians, living in NW South America, used these secretions to create poison darts. These Poisonous Darts were then used in both Tribal Warfare as well as hunting. Although all Dart Frogs contain a degree of poisonous secretions, not all are truly classified as “Deadly Frogs”. Of all the Poisonous Dart Frogs, the Native Indians preferred only one; the “Golden Poison Dart Frog”, aptly given the scientific Latin Name of Phyllobates terribilis.

Poison Dart FrogThe Golden Dart Frog is one of the larger species of Poison Arrow Frog. Like the beautiful Blue Dart Frog, Dendrobates tinctorius, it also achieves a length of around 3 inches. Phyllobates terribilis is a brightly primarily yellow colored frog that really sticks out when traveling through the Rainforest, almost advertising its toxicity. It is estimated that the there is enough poison or “Batrachotoxins” in the Venomous Secretions to kill over 10,000 rats or 7 or more humans. Natives have been know to have lost dogs and even children when they took a drink of water that a leaf Terribilis crossed over fell into a bowl or cup of water. Needless to say, this is one Toxic Frog!

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As amazing as this toxicity is, Poison Dart Frog Batrachotoxins, particularly those found in the Gold Poison Dart Frog can benefit man. Scientists have isolated a certain component found in their toxins that are actually 1000 times more effective then Morphine in treating pain with zero addictive properties. The main problem with this is the fact that science is still unsure how these tiny Dart Frogs obtain their Toxic Properties. In captivity, most Poison Frogs lose all or most of their toxicity. This just shows how complex and intertwined nature really is. It is hypothesized that these frogs get their batrachotoxins from their diet of certain insects, primarily ants. Some scientists even speculate that the specific species of ant or insect responsible for the Frog Venom relies on a specific species of plant or even fungus. So in turn, everything in nature is proven to be tightly intertwined, thus all nature, wildlife, plants and habitats not only deserves our protection, they demand it as well. Who knows what untold medical cures are out there. All I know is that mankind has unlocked very little of the rainforest’s secrets. Globally, thousands upon thousands of rainforest acres are being destroyed each day. We are truly cutting off our own noses to spite ourselves. Personally speaking as a Cancer Survivor, my life was spared as the result of one scientist’s (Dr. Michael Siegel) work with the extract of the Periwinkle Plant. One of my primary Chemotherapy Drugs was created as a result of this plant. Anyhow, we still have a lot to learn, and who knows, the cure for cancer could result from the protection of one of the Worlds most deadly creatures?

We at Tigerhomes.org pride ourselves in our mission to create a global awareness on the important need to save all native habitats. We hope to accomplish this by creating awareness and instilling an interest in Wildlife Conservation. David and I invite all of you to visit the TIGERHOMES Sanctuary’s live Animal Cams and “Education Center”. There you will have an opportunity to meet face to face Tundra and Loki, the Sanctuary’s resident White Tigers as well as a host of other big felines and Endangered Lemurs.

On a separate note, to see incredible Pictures of Poison Dart Frogs, I highly recommend that you purchase the book, “Jewels Of The Rainforest – Poison Frogs Of The Family Dendrobatidae” , written by Jerry G. Walls. T.F.H. Books, known for their amazing high gloss Pictures of Animals, publish this book. The photography in this book is truly breathtaking and the text is written by a true expert in the field of Frog Husbandry and science.

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