Color Warning in Frogs
Why does the Red- Backed Poison Arrow Frog have its coloring?
It says "BACK OFF" and "Don't mess with me!" Some animals have adapted
to their environment by being able to blend in and hide. Others have
developed chemicals that are poisonous or toxic to their predators. If
an animal ever eats one, either it will die and not be around to prey
anymore, or it will get sick or not like the taste, etc. and the coloring
will become associated with that bad experience. Another good example is
the coloring of a skunk. Everyone knows that a skunk smells really bad
and if you see one, you know to steer clear of it.
In the animal world, the colors red and orange are to warn other animals
of danger.The red-backed poison arrow frog is poisonous, so if an animal
eats it will get sick or even die. The red color on it's back means "stop!
I'm dangerous!" When other animals see this they know not to eat it. It
is just like a red stop sign or stop light. It means "stop! If you go out
in the street a car could hit you!" This keeps the frog from getting eaten
and other animals from getting sick.
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Update: June 2012