The most poisonous animal is neither of the above. Actually, it’s a little frog, measuring max 2 inches in length.
Now, most frogs produce skin toxins, but the dart poison frogs from Central and South America are the most potent of all. But the king among all them all is the golden poison frog, scientifically called “phyllobates terribilis.” A single terribilis contains enough poison to kill up to 100 people. In case you think this is a typo, I really meant one hundred!
Would you want to argue that it is definitely the most poisonous animal on Earth?
Pics after the jump.
Variety 1 (classic golden colour)
Variety 1 (white colour)
It is so toxic that even touching its skin can be dangerous. Certain death is guaranteed if you touch the tip of your tongue on its skin.
Its skin is the main source of poison hunting darts used by the Choco Embera people in Colombia’s rainforest. They get the poison by wiping heated darts on the frogs’ backs. The poison on the darts remains lethal for 2 years.
So how does the poison kill? Its skin contains batrachotoxins, which “prevents nerves from transmitting impulses, leaving the muscles in an inactive state of contraction. This can lead to heart failure or fibrillation.”
Even if you don’t see it around, it could still kill – the poison lasts long after the frog has left the area; chickens and dogs have died from contact with a paper towel that a frog had walked on.
Interestingly, it does not actually produce the toxins itself. It gets it from its natural diet, apparently some kind of beetle, which in turn got it from some plant. Hence these frogs are harmless when bred in captivitity.
Aren’t you glad this frog do not live in Malaysian jungles?