Wild Fact #170 – Do Not Lick – Giant Leaf Frog

Giant Leaf Frog

Photo by Jean-Marc Hero (Wikimedia)

Did You Know?

  • The Giant Leaf Frog is also called the Monkey Frogs or Waxy Frogs
  • They produce a mild toxin that is known to cause a range of different effects
  • The Giant Leaf Frog is a target for Biopiracy as it is believed their toxins may help cure AIDS, Cancer and other diseases

A Scene From The Simpsons

Let’s talk about their poison! If you have ever seen the episode of The Simpsons where it was cool to lick frogs to get high…they may very well have been licking the Giant Leaf Frog. As mentioned, the toxin secreted by this frog causes a number of different reactions including hallucinations, sedation and upset stomachs. Essentially, it is known to contain many of the same properties as opiates but I don’t personally see the appeal in licking poisonous frogs, or any frogs for that matter. This toxin is also believed to help cure AIDS, Cancer and other diseases. Research is currently being conducted and if we are lucky this little frog just may save the human race from some terrible diseases.

Giant Leaf Frog

George Grall, National Aquarium

Giant Leaf Frog Can’t Jump

Interestingly enough, this is one frog that doesn’t typically jump. I know, it is unheard of, right? So why are they sometimes called Monkey Frogs if they don’t like jumping? Although they are vertically challenged these little frogs do love living in the trees much like their monkey companions. The movements for this toxic frog are usually slow and deliberate, which makes sense as since they are typically active after the sun goes down. I also tend to be quite slow and deliberate while moving about in the darkness of the night.

No Need to Dry Off

The waxy, toxic substance the Giant Leaf Frog produces is not only good for getting a buzz or healing a deadly disease. This little frog depends on this waxy substance to prevent themselves from drying out in the heat of the day. Since they spend most of their days among the upper echelon of the tree tops, they are often exposed to dry areas with lots of sunshine. This harmful toxin instantly becomes a lifesaver for the Giant Leaf Frog.

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