Monday, 24 August 2009

Pretty, but....

A change of tack today as I look back at some of my older photos. a couple from our trip last year to Jersey - In particular, the Durrell Zoo and some of the animals to be found there.
Firstly a delightful-looking little frog, with a bright yellow skin and a fearsome reputation. The Golden Poison Frog (Phyllobates terribilis)
The most poisonous vertebrate in the world, their colour is designed to warn you of impending doom if you try to molest it. They live in the rain forests of South America and have been used by the natives as a source of poison with which to tip their hunting darts. The cocktail of poisons secreted by the skin of these little frogs acts on the nervous system, preventing nerve impulses and causing heart failure. The poison does not deteriorate very easily and animals have been known to die after coming in contact with a paper towel over which the frog had walked.
Just look at that innocent-looking frog and then remember that just one milligram of poison from him, is enough to kill 10 - 20 people!
Altogether more cute and far less dangerous is this beautiful character, a Meerkat (Suricata suricatta)
This is a young one and very photogenic. The name Meerkat comes from the Afrkaans for 'lake cat'. They are, of course, not members of the cat family but mongooses. They eat almost anything that moves that is small enough to tackle, but mostly insects, small reptiles including snakes, spiders, millipedes and eggs.
They are partially immune to many types of venom and are completely immune to the powerful venom of the Kalahari Desert scorpions which form a good portion of it's diet. "Seemples"
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