There are a great many frog species out there and they really do come in all shapes, colors, textures and sizes. People almost unanimously find them repulsive and the vast majority seem to cringe upon hearing the unique sounds that they produce. But aside from running away in disgust at the thought of the frog skin touching their own, people have never regarded frogs as posing actual threats to their health or their lives.
Well, it seems that there are two species of frogs that are particularly dangerous, as they produce extremely potent toxins that they deliver through a swift head jab. This is something that researcher Carlos Jared found out for himself when he got too close to a little critter called the Greening’s casque-headed frog and essentially got himself hit.
What followed this unfortunate event were five hours of intense pain that started out in Jared’s arm and kept radiating further and further. But this painful experience is also what enabled Carlos Jared from the Instituto Butantan located in São Paulo, Brazil to come to realization that the small frog is actually a venomous species, because it displays all the defining characteristics of one; the small frog is able to produce the potent toxin and it is also able to deliver it to other animals through a very special head jab.
The small frog has a very flexible neck and so, it is able to make fast and powerful movement as soon as it begins to feel the slightest bit threatened. But what makes the small frog truly be able to inoculate the venom is an extensive series of pointy bony protuberances on his skull, that essentially prick the skin of the animals it hits. These bony spikes on its head are not visible though, as the frog’s skin perfectly conceals them.
In their study, Carlos Jared and his colleague from the Utah State University, Dr. Edmund Brodie have revealed that Corythomantis greeingi, the Greening’s casque-headed frog is a true venomous species that poses significant threat to all animals that get hit and inoculated with the toxins. Furthermore, they have discovered that there is another species, far more dangerous than Greening’s frog, whose head jab is actually deadly.
It is called Aparesphenondon brunoi, the Bruno’s casque-headed frog and as little as 1 gram of its venom is powerful enough to kill 80 men. Fortunately for Jared, he did not get stung by this small frog, because the story of its discovery would have been a far sadder story.
The two small frogs use their venom as a defense mechanism and as long as predators do not get too close and leave them be, they are not in any kind of danger. Both species are quite peaceful, but could prove threatening or even deadly to much larger predators if they believe that they are in any danger.
It remains to be seen if there are any other venomous frogs out there, but what is absolutely clear is that these small creatures have many more tricks up their sleeves and that there is much more to them than what meets the eye.
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