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domingo, 26 de agosto de 2012

Terrible and colored animals

Despite the common sense that anyone can give names to things, the truth is that a good name can make a difference and it was because of scientific name of this charismatic animal of the picture above I went to find more about him.

The name is Phyllobates Terribilis, what made me wonder, what would make this smiley frog so... anh... "terrible".

The reason to the name was easy to find. This is the most poisonous animal of the world. And before someone stand up saying that the most poisonous animal of the world is that snake from somewhere, or that wee jellyfish from Australia, this is different,
those are venomous animals, they have a delivery method for their toxins, such as fangs or spines. Poisonous animals, like this frog, don't have a delivery method and rely on transference of the toxin, which means, you can't touch it or eat it.

Just to give you some idea about how powerful this poison is, 1 milligram can kill 10 thousands mice, or 2 elephants, or, putting in therms of people, if you are one of those who cares only to information related to your species, something around 15 human adults.

This frog can be found in forests at the coast of Colombia, but this kind of poison can also be fond in some birds in New Guinea (yes, there are poisonous birds), like the Ifrita kowaldi, of the picture below, who may not have a cool name, but ir sure has a interesting hair style.

As one could expect, humans, these good and so full of scruples creatures, already tried to raise this frogs to study (and maybe use) its poison. The curious thing, however, is that, for some reason probably related to the changing in the environment and eating habits, the poison was not produced by the frogs, what could be stretched as a philosophical comparison, in a sunny day, in which everybody is happy, that the environment where we live and the things we have to swallow may cause a friendly creature to kill by a terrible poison anyone who gets too much closer.

As a last curious fact, this kind of frog is part of group of amphibious called Dendrobatidae, that is known for having in their skins powerful toxins in bright colors. Among many, they even have a blue and a green, like those in the picture below. So, putting in "comic pseudo scientific almost to stupid to be said" therms, it is almost something like the Power Rangers of frogs, if you know what I mean.

--- Links
The most venomous snake in the world
The wee jellyfish from Australia, aka Sea Wasp
More about ifrita kowaldi
More about Dendrobatidae
More about Power Rangers (why not?)