Poison dart frogs have toxic poison within their skin, and their brightly colored bodies warn predators that they are poisonous. They are alternately known as poison arrow frogs because Native American cultures once used their poison on darts, according to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.
On average, these tiny amphibians are 1 to 2 inches long. Approximately 100 species exist. They feature unique multicolored patterns and have spots or bands decorating their skin. They live in rainforests in South America, Central America and the Hawaiian Islands, but their survival is endangered by loss of natural habitats. One major threat in the wild comes from Leimadophis epinephelus, a snake species that has developed immunity to the frogs' poison.
Poison dart frogs have sticky tongues and superior vision, allowing them to find and catch termites, ants and other small insects on the ground. Some species are harmless and lack poison when in captivity. Scientists believe frogs in the wild consume specific plants, insects and animals that trigger poison production.
In some species, female frogs store 30 to 40 eggs in a gelatinous casing and deposit it on the ground. The hatched tadpoles ride on their parents' backs until they reach a safe water pool where they can continue developing.