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Reptiles and Amphibians in the News

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cane Toad Update

Cane toad fighters in Australia are upset now that the government is reconsidering the legality of using carbon dioxide to kill the invasive amphibians. They are concerned that it may be cruel, in which case the fighters would have to go back to whacking them with golf clubs. (News source.)

One Australian is looking at the toads as an opportunity to sell toad poison and meat to the Chinese. (News source.)

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Frog Poisoning by Shamans

Two Chilean shamans are being sought by police after they used extracted poison from a dart frog in a traditional healing ceremony that went wrong. (News source.)

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Some Frog News

The first protein-based toxin in an amphibian has been discovered, in a treefrog. Most amphibian toxins are obtained from other sources like prey. (News source.)

An interesting photo gallery of treefrogs from Vietnam, here.

Mountain chicken frog tadpoles have some very strange cannibalistic behavior. (News source.)

A new Costa Rica treefrog shows distinctive coloration differences between adults and juveniles, and between genders. (News source.)

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Dart Frogs: Another Toxin

"New research documents a surprising chemical weapon used by some Amazonian poison frogs. The study identified for the first time a family of poisons never before known to exist in these brightly colored creatures or elsewhere in Nature, the N-methyldecahydroquinolines. The authors then speculated on its origin in the frogs’ diet, most likely ants. The report is scheduled for the June 26 issue of ACS’ Journal of Natural Products." (News source.)

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Toads vs Cancer

Australian scientists are investigating toad toxins for anti-cancer purposes. (News source.)

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fish Poisoning Gharials?

A crocodile expert suggests that toxins accumulating in the skin of tilapia are poisoning India's gharials. (News source.)

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Malaysia: Death by Toad

During a fishing trip, a Malaysian man caught and cooked a toad, eating it and its eggs, sharing it with his nephew. Shortly after, they began foaming at the mouth and vomiting. They were rushed to the hospital, but the man died on the way. The nephew is recovering. (News source.)

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rattler with Elapid-like Toxin Elements

Sequencing of the venom of a western massasauga brought a few interesting aspects to light. "A cocktail of recognized venom toxin sequences was detected in the library, but the venom also contained three-finger toxin-like transcripts, a family of poisons thought only to occur in another family of snakes (Elapidae). The team also spotted a novel toxin-like transcript generated by the fusion of two individual toxin genes..." (Eurekalert.)

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Bufo Fatality

Another case of a dog killed in southern Florida, after biting a marine toad. (News source.)

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Monday, September 3, 2007

Snakes vs Frogs

A few Australian frogs have toxins that will kill predatory snakes; those toxins break down a short time after the frog is dead, though, and some venomous snakes have learned to bite, kill, then sit back and wait until the frog is edible. (News source.)

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Toad vs Dog

A 20-lb terrier in Florida died after biting a cane toad. (News source.)

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