Mysteries of the toxic amphibians

poison dart frog on a leaf

Enlarge / A Granular Poison Frog (Oophaga granulifera) sits on the sting of a leaf. (credit score: Paul Osborne through Getty Photographs)

From the brightly coloured poison frogs of South America to the prehistoric-looking newts of the Western US, the world is crammed with stunning, lethal amphibians. Just some milligrams of the newt’s tetrodotoxin will be deadly, and a few of these frogs take advantage of potent poisons present in nature.

Lately, scientists have turn into more and more all for learning toxic amphibians and are beginning to unravel the mysteries they maintain. How is it, for instance, that the animals don’t poison themselves together with their would-be predators? And the way precisely do those that ingest toxins with a purpose to make themselves toxic transfer these toxins from their stomachs to their pores and skin?

Even the supply of the poison is usually unclear. Whereas some amphibians get their toxins from their food regimen, and plenty of toxic organisms get theirs from symbiotic micro organism dwelling on their pores and skin, nonetheless others could or could not make the toxins themselves — which has led scientists to rethink some traditional hypotheses.

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