One of the most poisonous animals

There are about 175 poison dart frog species. All are poisonous and obtain their toxicity by eating certain insects that are poisonous by eating some plants. The most toxic species is the golden frog (Phyllobates terribilis). Only 2 micrograms can be deadly to human and the poison from one frog can kill 50 people. The Embara Indians in Colombia used the poison of this frog in earlier days to make poison arrow.


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Amphibian ark

As a treatment for the fungus chrytrid is not yet possible, scientists have set up the international project ‘Amphian Ark’. The aim of this project is to bring at least 500 animals of endangered amphibian species to zoos worldwide. Once scientists know how to eliminate the fungus in nature, it is possible to release the animals in nature. Zoos all over the world have joined this project. One of the most critically endangered amphibians is the lemur leaf frog (Agalychnis lemur) and one of the frogs in the Amphibian ark project.


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Master of disguise

Many species of frogs are brown or gray with a mottled pattern making them less noticeable to potential attackers. In addition, the structure of the skin also provides a better camouflage. Species that live among the trees between the leaves often have a smooth skin while species that live on the forest floor have a more granular skin. There are also species with a leaf-like appearance as the Borneon horned frog which is almost undetectable between the leaves on the jungle floor.
Only with the help of an expert guide in Andasibe National Park in Madagascar could Edwin photograph this Warty green burrowing frog (Scaphiophryne marmorata)


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From pregnancy test to global threats

In the thirties and forties, the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) was massively exported because of its usefulness for pregnancy testing. In addition, the frog is a popular laboratory animal. According to Australian researchers this frog is probably responsable for spreading the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis worldwide. This fungus can lead to the infectious disease chytrid and has led to the vanishing of many amfibians.


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Parental care

The Strawberry poison dart (Dendrobates pumilio) frog has a special form of parental care you might not expect from frogs. The eggs that the female frog has laid between leaves or moss are monitored and cared for by the male. After the tadpoles have hatched, the female takes them one by one along on her back and brings them, high up in the trees, to bromeliads. Every tadpole gets its own plant, and also the parent places some food eggs in the water.


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Glass frogs

Also unique are the glass frogs with a semi-tranparent skin on the underside where you can see almost all of their organs. Scientists have discovered that the skin has the same wavelength infrared light reflected as the plants they are sitting on. Therefore they can be detected more difficult by snakes. These snakes use infrared receptors to detect their prey.


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