Male poison dart frogs nurture their young tadpoles by placing each one in its own tiny pool of water. He does this by carrying each tadpole on his back.
And if the tiny pool begins to dry up, he moves the tadpole to a better location. He just has to remember where he put each tadpole so he can check on them while they grow.
This clip from the BBC’s Seven Worlds One Planet, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, documents how this colorful creature, “no bigger than a human thumbnail,” protects his growing offspring in the Amazon rainforest.
And this six-week undertaking is a team effort, especially when the tadpoles don’t have access to food like algae, microorganisms, and very small dead insects:
“A female could do something a male cannot. But first, Dad must lead his partner to their hungry tadpole, and Mother deals with the problem. She lays a single unfertilized egg, and her tadpole gets a much-needed meal.”
A bit more from Smithsonian’s National Zoo:
“Poison frogs are commonly called poison arrow and poison dart frogs due to the indigenous community reportedly rubbing their arrow tips on the frogs’ backs before hunting. However, only three species have been documented as actually being used for this purpose, including the golden poison frog, the most toxic of all frog species…
“Poison frogs are known for their beautiful colors, and amphibians that have toxic skin secretions tend to have bright warning colors or patterns. It is theorized that these colors function as a visual warning, a learned response on the part of the predator.”
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