Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Plant Sciences, Zoology & Evolution => Topic started by: neilep on 28/08/2007 02:29:01

Title: Why are poison arrow frogs poisonous and is this lost in captivity?
Post by: neilep on 28/08/2007 02:29:01
This is a poisonous frog :


* image.jpg (36.94 kB . 301x275 - viewed 8765 times)

Cute isn't it ?......did you know that frogs like this harbor some of the most lethal toxins known to humanity...one tiny drop could kill 80 people !

..but did you know also this ?...that these frogs in captivity are NOT poisonous !!...

In the wild they accumulate their toxicity due to their diet which is chiefly insects containing alkaloids !

I have a couple of questions.

Is their toxicity ever increasing the more that they eat?..getting more and more toxic with each toxic making meal?

If their diet was changed would their toxicity diminish?


Thanks
Neil
Title: Re: Why are poison arrow frogs poisonous and is this lost in captivity?
Post by: Carolyn on 28/08/2007 02:58:36
Awww, he is a lil' cutie.  I just love frogs!

How are his lethal toxins delivered?  Does he bite you, lick you or pee on you?

Also, how long does he have to be in captivity to not be poisonous and how would you know he's safe?
Title: Re: Why are poison arrow frogs poisonous and is this lost in captivity?
Post by: neilep on 28/08/2007 13:42:14
Awww, he is a lil' cutie.  I just love frogs!

How are his lethal toxins delivered?  Does he bite you, lick you or pee on you?

Also, how long does he have to be in captivity to not be poisonous and how would you know he's safe?

I think you just need to be touched by him....

In captivity I believe they are born without any toxicity at all !!... and the diet they are given does not contain the ingredients to make them toxic.
So, they have developed a very clever way of storing toxins whilst accumulating them
Title: Re: Why are poison arrow frogs poisonous and is this lost in captivity?
Post by: Seany on 28/08/2007 14:35:27
It looks cute... I love frogs.. But I wouldn't fancy a red one!!

I think you need to be more than touched to be poisoned...?

And if the diet is changed.. It should, lose its toxicity.. Like you said above, the frogs in captivity are not poisonous..

My question is though.. What sort of insects do they eat, which has those high levels of alkaloids?
Title: Re: Why are poison arrow frogs poisonous and is this lost in captivity?
Post by: neilep on 28/08/2007 22:41:14
It looks cute... I love frogs.. But I wouldn't fancy a red one!!

I think you need to be more than touched to be poisoned...?

And if the diet is changed.. It should, lose its toxicity.. Like you said above, the frogs in captivity are not poisonous..

My question is though.. What sort of insects do they eat, which has those high levels of alkaloids?


erhmmm..excuse me...and ewe are ?

I think you're right....you probably have to violate le frog a little more than just touch the beasty. Some tribes use them to poison darts...gawwd knows where they stick it !!....but.....y'know...it may be as something simple as an exuding liquid of sorts....

i just don't know !!..I was I could speak Frogenese as I could go and ask one !!
Title: Re: Why are poison arrow frogs poisonous and is this lost in captivity?
Post by: Karen W. on 30/08/2007 16:34:18
Here I found this.. it is interesting about the ants and how the dart is dipped into the frog poison . It is because poson darts will penetrate the blood stream. as would handling one and putting ones fingers in ones mouth ..deadly it says.. open wounds contact etc.

My Son John has poison frogs and is extremely careful with feeding!

http://allaboutfrogs.org/info/species/poison.html

Habits:
    Most of the really small colorful frogs are poisonous in the wild. But these frogs tend to lose a lot, if not all, of their toxicity when bred in captivity (even if they were originally caught in the wild!). This is largly due to the lack of variety that these critters would normally be getting in their diet in the wild. A huge amount of their toxicity is because of an ant that they eat in the wild which no sane pet owner gives them in captivity.
    Despite it's label as the most poisonous of frogs, even the bright yellow p. terriblis isn't so poisonous that a human could die by just touching it in the wild.
    The poison cannot permeate our skin.
    If, on the other hand, there is a cut on the skin, however, before you have time to say 'oops that frog is poisonous' you're a goner, at least in the case of p. terriblis! Same goes for if you forget after playing with this pretty frog and accidentally put your hand in your mouth!
    Some tribes in rainforests dip their arrows in frog poison to make them deadly weapons. That's probably where "poison dart frogs" got their common name...
    Not all the colorful frogs are poisonous.
    Some imitate the poisonous ones with color, and apparently the warning is enough to protect them from potential predators.
Title: Re: Why are poison arrow frogs poisonous and is this lost in captivity?
Post by: dkv on 19/09/2007 09:34:17
Quote
Cute isn't it ?......did you know that frogs like this harbor some of the most lethal toxins known to humanity...one tiny drop could kill 80 people !
REP: Poison helps to kill insects and relatively small animals. It also helps in digestion.
I wonder whether rats is in their diet plan???:-)))
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Quote
..but did you know also this ?...that these frogs in captivity are NOT poisonous !!...
In the wild they accumulate their toxicity due to their diet which is chiefly insects containing alkaloids !
REP: In captivity its not frog's choice.
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Quote
I have a couple of questions.

Is their toxicity ever increasing the more that they eat ?..getting more and more toxic with each toxic making meal  ?
REP: Not ever increasing but sifficient to kill wild
animals and insects..high toxicity can also be used as weapon to defend
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Quote
If their diet was changed would their toxicity diminish ?
REP: If therr is a continuos use of the toxicity and need the toxic needs refuellling.
Example - toxic gets used to digest food . But in captivity the diet plan does not included right food.
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Title: Re: Why are poison arrow frogs poisonous and is this lost in captivity?
Post by: Monox D. I-Fly on 05/11/2018 08:11:19
http://allaboutfrogs.org/info/species/poison.html
Read the article and they mentioned "meadow plankton". What are they? Did they mean freshwater plankton in a pond in a meadow or can the term "plankton" refer to some certain small land animals?
Title: Re: Why are poison arrow frogs poisonous and is this lost in captivity?
Post by: chris on 05/11/2018 08:19:57
I acknowledge this is an older post but an intresting piece of research relevant to the story was done recently by US scientists who were able to show why poison arrow frogs are not killed by their own poison (https://www.thenakedscientists.com/articles/science-news/why-dont-poison-dart-frogs-poison-themselves). It's a simple genetic switch of one DNA letter for another within the target structures on muscle cells that are recognised by the poison.
Title: Re: Why are poison arrow frogs poisonous and is this lost in captivity?
Post by: Colin2B on 05/11/2018 08:58:48
[they mentioned "meadow plankton". What are they? Did they mean freshwater plankton in a pond in a meadow or can the term "plankton" refer to some certain small land animals?
Itís a fairly loose term used to describe small insects that can be caught in a sweep net. Herpetologists use them to feed their reptiles.