Frogs of the Amazon

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Poison dart frogs are one of more than 1,000 species of frogs in the Amazon rainforest.
Poison dart frogs are one of more than 1,000 species of frogs in the Amazon rainforest.

The Amazon is home to more than 1,000 species of frogs. Ranging from the brightly colored poison dart frog--small at a couple of millimeters in length--to the brown, camouflaging Amazon horned frog--as large as a saucer--there is a wide variety of beautiful and unusual frogs living in this region.

  1. Poison Dart Frog

    • Colorful but deadly, poison dart frogs live all over South and Central America. They have brightly colored skin that warns predators of their toxins. The frogs eat poisonous ants and other insects, which don’t affect the tropical amphibians. The poisons from the insects are then secreted through their skin. Choco Indian tribes, who lives in Columbia, use the frogs to poison blowgun darts.

    Waxy Monkey Frog

    • The waxy monkey frog gets its name from the waxy substance it secretes to protect itself from sunlight, which would dry out the frog. The waxy protective layer allows the frog to function during the day while most frogs are nocturnal. The waxy monkey frog is also known as the painted belly frog.

    Giant Leaf Frog

    • The giant leaf frog of the Amazon rainforest excretes a potentially hallucinogenic poison that some people believe has medicinal use, including treatment for AIDS and cancer. Many doctors have captured the frogs in an attempt to isolate their poison’s chemical components to make medicine. The frogs lay their eggs on leaves, which then drop into water, where the tadpoles hatch and grow.

    Tree Frog

    • As their name suggest, tree frogs primarily live in trees and bushes. The nocturnal amphibians have sticky disks on their feet that help them cling to trees, enabling them to climb. Most tree frogs are between 1 and 3 inches long and have green or brown skin.

    Horned Frog

    • The 8-inch Amazon horned frog inhabits freshwater marshes and pools around Brazil and Columbia. The frogs grow large because they have voracious appetites and will eat almost anything that is smaller than them. They are known for being aggressively territorial. Their size and appetites have earned them the nickname “Pac Man frogs,” according to National Geographic.

    Milk Frog

    • Also known as mission golden-eyed tree frog or the blue milk frog, the Amazon milk frog gets its name from the white toxin it secretes when threatened. The milk frog lives on top of or near slow-moving water in the Amazon. The grow to 2-1/2 to 4 inches in length, with the females being the larger sex of the species.

    Glass Frog

    • The glass frog is named for its almost transparent skin, making its internal organs visible. The frogs are usually between 20 and 30 millimeters in length, and they live in trees mostly around mountain streams in Central and South America, including the Amazon. In some of the frogs, it is possible to see their hearts beating.

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  • Photo Credit Amazon Milky Treefrog image by Reisbegeleider.com from Fotolia.com

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