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Tiny But Deadly: This one frog contains enough toxin to kill 10 adult humans

Manoj Kumar Rohilla | Updated on: 20 February 2023, 13:28 IST
The golden poison frog (Wikipedia)

The golden poison frog, also known as the golden dart frog, is one of the deadliest animals on the planet.

This small, brightly colored frog is native to the rainforests of Colombia, and its beautiful appearance belies the danger it poses to humans.

A Deadly Neurotoxin that Threatens Humans

The golden poison frog gets its name from the toxic secretions it produces from its skin. These secretions contain a potent neurotoxin called batrachotoxin, which can cause paralysis and death in humans. In fact, just one frog contains enough toxin to kill 10 adult humans.

The toxin is so potent that even touching the frog can be dangerous. In the past, indigenous people in Colombia used the frog's secretions to poison the tips of blow darts for hunting, hence its alternate name, the golden dart frog.

A High-Demand Pet with a Deadly Secret

Today, the frog is primarily found in the pet trade, where it is highly sought after by collectors due to its striking coloration. While the golden poison frog may be a beautiful creature to look at, it is not one to be taken lightly.

The toxin it produces can cause severe health complications and even death in humans, especially if it enters the bloodstream through a cut or other open wound.

Golden Poison Frog: A Threatened Species

Unfortunately, due to habitat loss and fragmentation, the golden poison frog is facing a decline in its population. As a result, the illegal pet trade has become a significant threat to the species, as collectors are willing to pay high prices for these rare and highly toxic creatures.

Furthermore, the potential danger of the golden poison frog to humans raises serious concerns about the ethics of keeping them as pets.

While some may argue that the frogs can be kept safely in captivity, the risk of accidental exposure to the toxin remains high. In addition, the demand for these creatures in the pet trade only contributes to their declining population in the wild.

The golden poison frog is a beautiful and deadly creature that serves as a reminder of the dangers that can lurk in the natural world.

While its striking coloration may make it an attractive addition to a collection, it is important to remember the potential risks involved with keeping these animals.

Ultimately, the survival of the golden poison frog depends on the protection of its natural habitat and the responsible management of the pet trade.

First published: 20 February 2023, 13:29 IST
Manoj Kumar Rohilla @maanojrohilla

Manoj has worked for nearly all forms of media--print, tv, radio and digital. During the last 24 years, he has worked for DNA India, DD, Zee TV, Nepal 1, Sahara Samay, IBN 7, India News, News Express and Daily Bhaskar. He loves making documentaries. As Deputy Editor he manages and heads news operations of Catch News, and Catch Hindi.