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Scientist Discovers First-Ever Venomous Frog the Hard Way

| 8 Aug 2015 02:37

It has been discovered that a Brazilian species is the world's first venomous frog. The man who made this discovery probably wishes he didn't.

Greening's Frog used Poison Jab!

It's super effective!

Wild frog researcher fainted!

At least, that's how I like to imagine the discovery of the world's first venomous frog went down.

Carlos Jared, a researcher from Brazil's Instituto Butantan in São Paulo, was collecting frogs in a forest reserve when one of them head-butted him, stabbing its venom-coated spine into his hand. It caused "intense pain radiating up the arm," said Jared, "lasting about five hours."

This tipped Jared and his co-researchers off that there was something strange about Greening's Frog, or Corythomantis greeningi, a species which has been known to science for some time. It turns out that Greening's and a related species, Bruno's Casque-Headed, are the only frogs discovered so far that inject venom into predators to ward them off.

What do you think? Does this beat out other newly discovered, real-life Pokemon?

Many tropical frogs are known to coat their bodies with a poisonous substance and bright colors, signalling to potential predators, "buddy, don't even try to eat me."

This is distinct from how a venomous frog delivers its toxin, though. Fun fact of the day: the difference between poisonous and venomous animals is that venom is injected by an animal into its prey or predator (as in the bullet ant covered recently), whereas a poisonous animal secretes (or borrows) poison to prevent predation. Poison, like a good joke, is all in the delivery.

Source: CBC.ca, Cell.com

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