8 Poison Dart Frog Facts for Kids
1. A poison dart frog is also called poison arrow frogs. They are very attractive vibrant colored frogs but they can be deadly if misused. Their toxin is their protection. Their beautiful colors are a warning to predators that they are deadly.
2. There are over 100 species of this frog. They are all found in central and south America with a few species living in the Hawaiian Islands. The toxins are found in their skin so when a predator goes to take a bite they can be poisoned.
3. Out of the 100 species only 3 are poisonous to humans. The Golden Dart Frog is the most dangerous to humans. Touching a Golden Dart Frog may be enough for the poison to affect you but unless you actually ingest the frog you should be okay. So no frog licking is strongly suggested. Oddly poison dart frogs are not poisonous in captivity. It is believed that they manufacture the poison in their skin from their diet in the wild.
4. Once they are removed from the wild and fed a rather subdued diet of mostly crickets they lose the ability to manufacture the poison. Evidently the ability to manufacture the poison is not really their own. They have the ability to borrow the poison of the insects that they eat and store it in their skin but once the toxic tidbits are removed from their diet than they have nothing to store so they are rendered harmless.
Why Are They Called Poison Dart Frogs?
5. Native Tribes would use these frogs to poison their arrows or blow darts. History does not tell us how the process got started but we do know that it was a very common practice in Central America. While most of the poison dart frogs are not dangerous to humans they are dangerous to small mammals so the practice was often carried out for hunting small game.
6. It was actually a quite ingenious practice. The poison would immediately render the game paralyzed so no matter where the poison dart landed on the game it would allow for the hunter to collect his reward.
7. As mentioned earlier poison dart frogs get their poison from the insects that they eat. They are quite fond of a full range of insects both crawling and flying and have a diet heavy in toxic insects. They are carnivores.
8. They eat a diet of crickets in captivity.