Tuesday, 7 February 2012 By: Jenny Vu

#9 Dedicated Frog Parents

These frogs may seem to have beautiful colours and patterns, but they are just warnings that they're poisonous. And what's that little black thing on it's back? Could it be!?.......Yes, they are tadpoles.

Golden Poison Dart Frog male carrying tadpole Source: nationalgeographicstock

The female poison dart frog lays the eggs on the underside of a leaf or in a burrow. After the tadpoles have hatched, the dedicated parents allow the youngster/s to climb onto their backs for a piggyback to their new water-filled bromeliad home. This trip may even take several days if the female travels high into the canopy.
Granular Poison Dart Frog female carrying tadpole Source: nationalgeographicstock
The parents then drop the tadpoles into the rainwater collected between the bromeliad's leaves, with each tadpole having their own separate pool. The tadpoles may feed on algae and mosquito larvae. But, just in case there is no food, the female will return again and again to deposit an unfertilised egg for each tadpole to feed on. After 6 - 8 weeks, the tadpoles emerge as frogs and return to the forest floor.
Strawberry Poison Dart Frog female carrying tadpole Source: nationalgeographicstock.com

Poison dart frogs are unfortunately endangered, most probably due to some major factors such as climate change, habitat loss and infectious diseases. If you want to find out ways of how you can help or want to learn more about poison dart frogs, go to these following websites:

I was reminded of this amazing behaviour by David Attenborough. :) I've been greatly enjoying watching his Life DVD Collection. So many great things to learn and discover. Amazing stuff.



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