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Rainforest Frogs in Costa Rica TropicA tropic world with really meaningful color
The rainforest frogs of Costa Rica are known as symbols of the tropical rainforest; these deliverers of untiring nocturnal choir recitals are bizarrely multicolored (like the Red Eyed Tree Frog), and even some are poisonous (like the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog), but all have a very sensitive skin. Their world can surely lead to witness the extraordinary variations in colors, shapes and habits that a frog can have, besides life aspects and remarkable facts to learn about.
(En Español: Ranas de Costa Rica)
Costa Rican Rainforest Frogs
Poison Dart Frog Facts
Rain forest frogs of some families have evolved specialized body shapes to fit into the narrow spaces among the bromeliad leaves, which stores water at its bases and provides this way the ideal wet cradle for the eggs an then the tadpoles (the first stages of frog metamorphosis prior to adulthood); this is due to the fact that in some cases, the tadpoles are carried from ground ponds to bromeliad water tanks clinging on the frog back! Once there, they feed on sterile eggs which are regularly deposited by their mother. These cares are needed to avoid as much as possible the predatory effect (from fishes, damselflies nymphs and other aquatic insects) over the most inoffensive creature in the tropical rainforest: the frog tadpole. In the case of the poison dart frog (named after Amazon tribes using it to poison their hunting gun tips: arrows and blowpipe darts), evolution has created colorful patterns, as you can see with the color variations of the famous Strawberry Poison Dart Frog, called aposematic coloration. This play the function of being a very conspicuous warning signal of bad taste, or being a dangerous (even deadly) meal, in order to avoid this way to be devoured by the myriad of potential predators that share its habitat. Rain forest frogs feed mostly on insects and worms, catching them with their sticky, forked tongue, attached at the front of the lower jaw.
The Strawberry Poison Dart Frog or blue jeans poison dart frog, Oophaga pumilio (formerly Dendrobates pumilio, prior to a recent 2006 work), is a type of poison dart frog found in Central America, with a high concentration within Costa Rica tropical rainforest. As one of the best examples of aposematic coloration, the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog have conspicuous colors as a warning and indicative of toxins existence in its skin (giving the frog a bad taste) working as antipredator adaptation. The diurnal Strawberry Poison Dart Frog feeds mainly on ants, have very few predators thanks to its toxins, and can reach 5-6 years of age. These frogs and related ones are notable in the amphibian world for exhibiting a high degree of parental care, as mentioned above, indeed, their reproductive behavior is one of the most amazing and unbelievable among the tropical rainforest creatures.
Great scientific interest to biology has created the discovery that the Poison Dart Frogs obtain the toxic chemicals they defend themselves with, from alkaloid-rich ants and other tropical rainforest insects, which they have evolutionary relationship. Even scientists have recently found that some poison dart frogs not only absorb the alkaloids of ants, but even have the ability to modify them, creating more toxic variants. The fascinating ability of the poison dart frog to resist, store, and manipulate toxins, along with its related role in the rainforest food chain, are among the most important discoveries in the study of food chain evolution.
Tree frogs are not poisonous (1) and also are characterized by large adhesive toepads, which enable them to climb on the smooth vegetation surfaces. One of their most known representative, the Red Eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas) is a nocturnal arboreal frog native to the American rainforest. It have a size of about 7-8 cm (2.8 inches). Its ventral skin is white, soft and fragile, but its dorsal one is green, thicker and rougher. Its sides are purple or blue, with distinctive vertical white stripes and orange toes. And have big bulged red eyes with vertically narrowed pupils as in the eyes of cats. The Red Eyed Tree Frog feeds on moths, crickets, beetles and flies among other small arthropods; but can be eaten by birds, turtles, lizards, snakes, bats and another mammals as well. The Red Eyed Tree Frogs are not poisonous, so they rely on camouflage to protect themselves. As part of their behaviour, they remain motionless during the day, and cover their blue sides with their back legs, tucking their bright feet under their belly, and shutting their very conspicuous red eyes. In this way these frogs thus appear almost completely green, and well hidden among the leaves of the same color. Once at full activity, they recover all their astounding and bizarre coloring. The lifespan of the Red Eyed Tree Frog in its habitat is about three to five years.
Another kind of tree frogs are the "Glass Frogs", called in that way by their distinctive feature of a translucent belly, almost transparent, through which the intestines and other organs are visible. Besides, glass frogs have the upper surface with green color, they are tiny, have large eyes forward-directed, and adhesive disks in each finger and toe. As a representative example of this family of frogs, the Emerald Glass Frog (Centrolenella prosoblepon) must be mentioned, which have a distinctive spur located at the upper arm (in the "shoulder"). There exist thirteen species of glass frogs in Costa Rica.
Frogs related Books
This is a selection of recommended and suggested books for further reading and learning about Costa Rica frogs, flora and fauna; which are available for look at their reader reviews and buying online if needed (* As a form to support this website, we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites).
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