October 22, 2014
Frog Blog – Bright Warnings
- as seen by -Bill Orrico
How do you stop yourself from being eaten? Most amphibians try to blend in with their environment, hiding from predators using various types of camouflage. Others use their speed as a defense, springing away from danger at the first moment of trouble.
The yellow banded dart frog (Dendrobates leucomelas) has gone a different way entirely; it has evolved to be seen by all. Sometimes called the bumblebee dart frog, its bright yellow and black markings serve as a warning for predators to stay away. Simply displaying warning colors is never enough, however. Like other dart frogs, this animal produces a poison stored in glands beneath the skin and can secrete this toxin when threatened. Just a small amount of toxin is enough to make large animals sick, ensuring they will never forget to avoid the bright patterned frog in the future.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For October, we at Wild View are getting in the spirit of Halloween. We’re celebrating nature that often elicits alarm. The animals that creep and crawl. The full moons that brighten night skies. The bats, the vultures, the snakes. Swallow your anxiety and join us. Fear not, it’s actually quite amazing