Science Sunday Species of the Week
Meet Atelopus varius... or the "Costa Rican Clown Frog." These little guys are critically endangered, but so amazingly designed they look like they've had a splash of paint added to the skin. They haven't though- they evolved that colorful splash to indicate toxicity to predators. It's the frog's way of saying, "Hey, don't eat me! I'm poisonous." Indeed, A. varius contains tetrodotoxin, a very potent neurotoxin. This is one frog a predator would not get away with digesting.
They are diurnal frogs (active during the day, sleeping at night). Less than 100 of these frogs remain in the wild in Costa Rica; amphibians in general in the wild (and in the tropics) remain under threat and decline. This may be due to many causes, including pollution, disease, habitat destruction, and anthropogenic climate change. You can read more about this crisis here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_in_amphibian_populations
. Preserving our biodiversity on the planet is vital to all of us on earth. It is a hallmark of a healthy planet. #ScienceSunday #SpeciesOfTheWeek #ClimateChange