Scientist Discovers First-Ever Venomous Frog the Hard Way

 Pages PREV 1 2
 

Naldan:
... What? Did I get this right? The frog head-butted him, exposed with this technique its spine and rammed that somehow into his hand?

The frog rammed its head into the researcher's hand, while the frog sort-of "wolverine'd" its spine out the top of its head. Yes, it's crazy. Frog lives on.

Burned Hand:

FalloutJack:

Burned Hand:
SCIENCE!

Cool, isn't it?

Very. This is not the first time I've heard of a 'tooth head', but I'm having a hard time remembering what else does it. Though, the platypus... It's spurs in the rear legs? I thought it was the little claws on the forelimbs.

Nope, check it out!

image

It's a kind of modified bone spur. Nature is so weird and endlessly fascinating.

That animal alone shows how weird nature can be. It needs no other example, yet it has so many. Incidentally, I dub our new species here the 'Unifrog'. Use it well.

FalloutJack:

Draconalis:
Zoop

Yeah, he did, actually. He said it outright, AND he was wrong to do so. My attitude is completely fine.

Not really, but it might be a tonal thing that's not translating well over a written medium. The way I read it, he wasn't outright saying "this guy's a troll" it was more along the lines of "this guy is antagonistic and unwilling to budge on his point which are common hallmarks of trolls." To put it in other terms, it's sort of like the difference between a "suggestion" and an "accusation" in Clue. You've since proved him wrong, but you might have overreacted a bit.

hittite:

FalloutJack:

Draconalis:
Zoop

Yeah, he did, actually. He said it outright, AND he was wrong to do so. My attitude is completely fine.

Not really, but it might be a tonal thing that's not translating well over a written medium. The way I read it, he wasn't outright saying "this guy's a troll" it was more along the lines of "this guy is antagonistic and unwilling to budge on his point which are common hallmarks of trolls." To put it in other terms, it's sort of like the difference between a "suggestion" and an "accusation" in Clue. You've since proved him wrong, but you might have overreacted a bit.

Suggesting that I'm trollish is still a terrible thing to do, plus it's definitely against the code of conduct. I took his post as antagonistic and goading, and he can walk off his one warning, easy. Now, I've gotten angry on this site before, but I've also used the moments where my own moderation was deserved - about half, let's be honest - to find ways to cool my jets. I haven't overreacted to anything around here for a good long while, and I plan to keep it that way. That doesn't mean I gotta sit there and take it, though. Now, I think we really shouldn't keep on de-railing the thread like this.

FalloutJack:
SNIP

You know, I am inclined to agree with you. As a category I would count them all as the same, and then sub-categorise the minor differences. Over-categorisation leads to not categorising in the first place.

I deal with Electronic Warfare (EW) at work. That is the umbrella term for everything associated, which is an accepted term. But like the issue here it is then split into Electronic Attack, Electronic Protection and Electronic Warfare Support. It's all well and good us geeks getting all excited about the differences between someone using a jamming pod, some flares or passively collecting and tracking RADAR emissions, but they are all still EW and we shouldn't labour the point if someone passing the field settles with that category only.

So he got sore for a bit? Pfft!

If the first venomous frog had been found in Australia the researcher would have been dead before he could draw a breath to scream and within a minute his body would have turned into a puddle of toxic black goo!

Gethsemani:

thaluikhain:

FalloutJack:
Venom is poison, though. Seems to be splitting hairs. At the end of the day, the effect is that you are poisoned. I don't know why this distinction exists.

Lots of venomous animals are edible, though. Venomous snakes, for example, you just avoid the head. A poisonous snake (there's a poisonous sea snake, IIRC), you can't eat.

I'll have you know that I am a respectable westerner! There is no way that I am eating a snake, I much prefer red meat but chicken will do in a pinch. Once we start eating snakes we are savages. SAVAGES!

im glad someone else agrees with me that Texans are a bunch of savages

http://www.inquisitr.com/1925771/texas-hold-annual-rattlesnake-roundup-and-fry/

FalloutJack:
Pardon me, but I would count the Poison Dart Frog as number the first. It's a mild dose from one or two, but it is definitely poison if you come in contact with too many.

So wait... does mean there is a venom gland connected to these spines. There's an important distinction. there. Otherwise it's just a poisonous frog with a spine and aggressive butting tendencies. If teh spine is just coated incidentally with the mucus that coats the rest of the frog....

MonsterCrit:

FalloutJack:
Pardon me, but I would count the Poison Dart Frog as number the first. It's a mild dose from one or two, but it is definitely poison if you come in contact with too many.

So wait... does mean there is a venom gland connected to these spines. There's an important distinction. there. Otherwise it's just a poisonous frog with a spine and aggressive butting tendencies. If teh spine is just coated incidentally with the mucus that coats the rest of the frog....

Possibly, you meant to quote the OP, but it's these weird little things that make me wonder about the whole thing.

I wonder... I mean, given a frogs' natural prey of insects this seems like a purely defensive adaptation, right? But would this mean that unlike a regular frog which may secrete a poison, that this frog actually has a developed venom gland at the base of the spine like a snake fang? Or is it merely that the frog secretes poisonslike any regular frog, it's just that the spine creates an open wound combined with poisonous residue on its head impacting with the wounded surface?

I see the word 'inject', which to my mind conjures an image of an internal vessel filled with venom that is internally secreted upon impact as opposed to merely a secreted poison that just so happens to 'pool' about the spine waiting to seep into an open wound via impact force. But it's still kind of vague.

FalloutJack:
Venom is poison, though. Seems to be splitting hairs. At the end of the day, the effect is that you are poisoned. I don't know why this distinction exists.

An animal being venomous vs. poisonous actually has a big effect on it's behaviour.

Being poisonous actually doesn't help an individual animal at all. How cares if the thing that eats you ends up dying afterwards, you're still dead? It does protect a population of animals though as predators evolve to avoid them. So you get all the brightly coloured anti-camouflaged poisonous animals who advertise their species as their defense mechanism. As well as the animals that imitate them.

Whereas venomous animals are edible as long as the predator is careful. The venomous animal also has to develop the aggressive behaviour needed to administer the poison whether this is done for hunting or for defense.

Venom is active and poison is passive. I suppose it's analagous to the difference between ambush predators and chase predators. It might seems like an unnecessary distinction (who cares how they catch them, the point is that they eat other animals, right?) but it's actually a completely different survival tactic with different adaptations which assist it's usefulness.

K12:
Zoop

In nature, poisonous beings have recognizable signs about them that animals and such realize and avoid. It's true! There could be a smell, a color, a marking - and that is why poisonous creatures remain alive.

FalloutJack:

K12:
Zoop

In nature, poisonous beings have recognizable signs about them that animals and such realize and avoid. It's true! There could be a smell, a color, a marking - and that is why poisonous creatures remain alive.

Are you disagreeing with my point that being poisonous doesn't help the individual organism (otherwise I have no idea why you would bother with this post) because I'm right if you think about it in terms of poison being an evolutionary adaptation that gets selected for. The behaviour of predators avoiding the recognizable signs of poisonous animals evolves in tandem (or after) poisonousness.

Poisonousness only has an effect if some animal eats/bites/licks you and then dies or gets sick and as a result makes "avoidance of animals that look like you" an evolutionary advantage (plus temporarily makes fewer predators around to eat your still living family). Animals aren't going to avoid eating a brightly coloured poisonous frog if that behaviour hasn't evolved. The bright colours evolve in tandem or after the poison so that the species is distinctive and also after the behaviour to avoid you species have evolved in potential local predators.

K12:
Boop

The reason I addressed your post because if being poisonous doesn't help out the individual, it doesn't do anything for the species either and thus has no point from an evolutionary standpoint. Because indeed...if the animals dumb enough to eat it do so anyway - thus killing the species even if it itself dies too - then that species wouldn't survive anyway. SO, because poison creation and use is certainly found in nature to prevent death or to take life, it must have ended up this way after successfully upping the survival of the species. This means that predators either recognize the poison before or during the attempt to eat, but do not manage to eat or kill the critter because of the poison. No creature on this Earth is poisonous out of spite. I know this because humans have no sting, and we're the only ones with real spite.

FalloutJack:

K12:
Boop

The reason I addressed your post because if being poisonous doesn't help out the individual, it doesn't do anything for the species either and thus has no point from an evolutionary standpoint. Because indeed...if the animals dumb enough to eat it do so anyway - thus killing the species even if it itself dies too - then that species wouldn't survive anyway. SO, because poison creation and use is certainly found in nature to prevent death or to take life, it must have ended up this way after successfully upping the survival of the species. This means that predators either recognize the poison before or during the attempt to eat, but do not manage to eat or kill the critter because of the poison. No creature on this Earth is poisonous out of spite. I know this because humans have no sting, and we're the only ones with real spite.

This comment is wrong and the reason that it's wrong is actually quite an interesting aspect to evolutionary biology which I can't really do justice in a couple of paragraphs. The basic idea is that evolution does not select for genes that have an effect which benefits the organism, instead it selects for genes that have an effect which benefits that gene (including copies of the gene that might exist in the offspring or relatives of an organism). It isn't about an organism trying to pass on its genes, it's about genes manipulating the behaviour and characteristics of its organism(s) to make themselves more numerous.

It might well be the case that poisonousness was selected for because predators begin to eat the animal and then stopped but since poison is rarely this fast acting and the animal would be injured (perhaps even dying) I think this won't be the whole explanation (or even the biggest part of it). It's also worth being wary of the "the animal has X characteristic therefore X characteristic must have helped it survive" idea since it can lead you astray in some cases.

I suggest reading Dawkins "The Selfish Gene" if you'd like to know more about this, or if my explanation still doesn't make sense/ convince you.

FalloutJack:
Pardon me, but I would count the Poison Dart Frog as number the first. It's a mild dose from one or two, but it is definitely poison if you come in contact with too many.

Actually the Poison Dart Frog carries enough poison to kill 2,200 people. So I wouldn't say it has a mild dosage (when you consider it keeps the majority of its poison on its skin).

OT: This is somewhat cool and very interesting. This is the first animal I've heard of that uses a headbutt to inject venom into its target.

Looks like he got lucky, the other venomous frog has venom more potent than a pit viper. I would hate to be that scientist, imagine waiting five hours in pain not knowing whether the venom is lethal or not.

FalloutJack:
I wouldn't say ingesting its own toxins would be an issue

Especially because venom has no effect when ingested, unlike poison.

K12:
Snip

barbzilla:
Snip

I think you two are at odds here. Could you resolve this?

FalloutJack:

K12:
Snip

barbzilla:
Snip

I think you two are at odds here. Could you resolve this?

Are we? I can't see any conflict in what either of us has said... honestly, I can't even tell what point you're making here and I don't know if I want to try to work it out anymore.

I think this is going to be the last comment I post to you on this thread. I've made my point as best as I can (in short form anyway) and I don't see any value in making it again.

K12:

FalloutJack:

K12:
Snip

barbzilla:
Snip

I think you two are at odds here. Could you resolve this?

Are we? I can't see any conflict in what either of us has said... honestly, I can't even tell what point you're making here and I don't know if I want to try to work it out anymore.

I think this is going to be the last comment I post to you on this thread. I've made my point as best as I can (in short form anyway) and I don't see any value in making it again.

Ah, well the point against your point - whether you care to acknowledge it or not - is that the poisonous frog is way too toxic to be eaten, and the barb just imparted that succinctly. So, yeah. Sorry.

This is the most intense thread about frogs I have ever seen after leaving Frogforums.

Objectable:
This is the most intense thread about frogs I have ever seen after leaving Frogforums.

I know, right? I leave for a few days and this blows up! Makes me want to re-subscribe to Frog Fancy magazine.

PatrickJS:

Objectable:
This is the most intense thread about frogs I have ever seen after leaving Frogforums.

I know, right? I leave for a few days and this blows up! Makes me want to re-subscribe to Frog Fancy magazine.

You can pay me back by explaining to the nice people that I wasn't being a jerk, but generating discussion value, which I did.

FalloutJack:

PatrickJS:

Objectable:
This is the most intense thread about frogs I have ever seen after leaving Frogforums.

I know, right? I leave for a few days and this blows up! Makes me want to re-subscribe to Frog Fancy magazine.

You can pay me back by explaining to the nice people that I wasn't being a jerk, but generating discussion value, which I did.

Here Jack, this is a pretty solid article on the toxic nature of the poison dart frog and why they evolved that way.
http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150422-the-worlds-most-poisonous-animal

Also I need to amend my previous statement to say that 2,200 people is over the life time of the frog, at any give time it is 10-20 people (which is still pretty toxic). Birds and natural predators of frogs tend to learn very quickly to avoid the frogs when introduced to a new area, so it is a very effective defense.

 Pages PREV 1 2

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here