Poisonous amphibian

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Poisonous amphibians are amphibians that produce toxins to defend themselves from predators.

Poison dart frogs are well known for their brightly colored skin. The bright colors warn potential predators of their toxicity.

Except certain salamandrid salamanders that can extrude sharp venom-tipped ribs,[1][2] amphibians are not known to actively inject venom. Most toxic amphibians are instead known to be poisonous to touch or eat. Amphibians usually sequester toxins from animals and plants on which they feed, commonly from poisonous insects or poisonous plants. One example of this is the well-known poison dart frog. They get a deadly chemical called lipophilic alkaloid from consuming a poisonous food in the rainforest. They are immune to the poison and they secrete it through their skin as a defense mechanism against predators. This poison is so efficient, the native people of the South American Amazon rainforest use the frogs' toxins on their weapons to kill their prey, giving the frogs their nickname the "poison dart frog". Some people use the bufotoxins of some species of toxic toads as a drug to get high, but this can become very dangerous. Usually due to the toads' size and toxicity, the poisons would not be deadly to a fully grown, healthy adult. But if too much of the toxin is absorbed, or if the person is young or ill, then the poisons can become a serious threat. It also depends on species: some amphibians do have toxins strong enough to kill even a healthy mature person within just a few minutes, while other species may not have toxins potent enough to have any effect. Licking toads is not biologically practical. For these tryptamines to be orally activated, the human monoamine oxidase system must be inhibited. Therefore, licking a poisonous amphibian will not guarantee a sufficient dose.

Toxic amphibians[edit]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "Venomous Amphibians (Page 1) - Reptiles (Including Dinosaurs) and Amphibians - Ask a Biologist Q&A". Askabiologist.org.uk. Retrieved 2010-07-28. 
  2. ^ Robert T. Nowak and Edmund D. Brodie, Jr. (1978). "Rib Penetration and Associated Antipredator Adaptations in the Salamander Pleurodeles waltl (Salamandridae)". Copeia 1978 (3): 424–429. doi:10.2307/1443606. JSTOR 1443606. 

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