Not a frog, The Panamanian Golden Frog, is a critically endangered toad, weighing about 3g and measuring about 35mm. It communicates by waving its limbs in a form of semaphore as well as vocalizations and secretes a water soluble neurotoxin, zetekitoxin.
Panamanian golden frogs (Atelopus zeteki) are critically endangered amphibians almost extinct in the wild. They are unique to the mountainous rainforests of Panama, where populations have been severely threatened by habitat loss, over-collection and, most devastatingly, by fungal disease. The use of semaphore for communication is most unusual in amphibians, yet these true toads 'wave' at prospective mates and rivals, possibly to overcome the noise made by fast-flowing rivers.
When I was in Panama I met a couple from NYC. I asked them how the local zoo was and they shrugged and said it mediocre; their main attraction was the Golden Frog. My heart skipped a beat the Golden Frog! The Golden Frog has been extinct in the wild since 2007 due to a terrible fungal disease called chytridiomycosis. Chytridiomycosis is wiping out a number of frog species all over the world and may be linked to pesticides but as of this writing that hasnt been proven. I saw two golden…
Smithsonian Science | Success: Panama's Golden Frog Bred in Captivity | The Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation project recently announced that the golden #frog, a national icon on the brink of #extinction, has been successfully raised in captivity.