Golden poison frog, the most poisonous animal in the world is in danger



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Golden poison frog, the most poisonous animal in the world is in danger

The skin of the Golden poison frog is densely coated with a poisonous alkaloid that can lead to respiratory failure, heart failure and fibrillation. Some natives use this poison to hunt with poison coated arrows. The alkaloid can be stored by frogs for years after they have been deprived of a staple food for the synthesis of the poison, and toxins of this type do not deteriorate easily, even when transferred to another surface.

It is considered the most toxic animal among those currently studied, although it loses toxicity if bred in captivity. Much of the poison secreted itself is synthesized by the leaves of medium poisonousness on which some of its preys feed.

Scientists have suggested that the crucial insect may be a small beetle from the Melyridae family. At least one species of these beetles produces the same toxin found in Golden poison frog. The golden frog's diet consists of small insects, mostly termites and ants, whose contribution could be used to extract toxins.

Like other frogs, it uses its sticky tongue to catch insects. It is considered the most voracious within the Dendrobatidae family.

Golden poison frog is in danger

This amphibian lives exclusively in Colombia. Its habitat consists of rainforests between one hundred and two hundred meters above sea level, with high humidity (80-90%) and temperatures no lower than 26 degrees centigrade.

It is a sociable animal that lives in groups of four to ten individuals, although much larger communities are formed in captivity. It was a very widespread species also in Panama and in some areas of Costa Rica, where it was considered a symbol of luck, but it quickly became extinct at the beginning of the 21st century, surviving only in captivity, because it was particularly affected by mushrooms.

Due to the destruction of its habitat and poaching, the animal is listed in danger in the IUCN Red List. The skin is generally bright yellow, an aposematic coloring that serves as a warning to any predators and the various possible colors of the skin seem to depend on geographical micro-variations.

Sometimes the skin is slightly black in the cephalic area. The eyes are black and rather large. The eyelids are also black, in such a way as to make the animal appear with its eyes always open. The iris of the eye, the pupil of which is horizontal, the nose, fingers, the lower edge of the tympanic membrane and the edges of the mouth are black. Likewise for the skin folds in the armpits and groin.