Geek Trivia

Which Animal Isn’t Poisonous When Raised In Captivity?

Black Widows
Poison Dart Frogs
Black Adders
The Source Of The Mississippi River Is?

Answer: Poison Dart Frogs

Poison Dart Frogs, members of the Dendrobatidae frog family native to Central and South America, are well known the world over for beautiful and bright coloration as well as their highly toxic skin secretions.

What’s curious about the toxicity of the frogs, however, is that it is derived entirely from the frog’s diet. The toxic alkaloids the frogs secrete are not synthesized by the frog but instead gathered through the ingestion of various arthropods in the frog’s diet: such as ants and centipedes. The frog then releases these compounds through its skin to ward off predators. Poison Dart frogs raised in captivity are not fed the same diet of native arthropods and thus never build up a reserve of the toxins to excrete.

Another curiosity about Poison Dart frogs is that, despite their name and how widely disseminated stories of native tribes using them to poison darts and arrow tips, only 4 of the over 175 varieties of Poison Dart frogs have ever been observed in such use.

Image by Freetoast.