|The Deadly Frogs of Manu
Objectives of the Lesson
Objectives of the Lesson:
- Research and learn about the poison frogs of Manu.
- Download template models of the frogs of Manu and accurately color
- Construct a poster with the different deadly frogs of Manu and/or
other Dart Poison Frogs of the Amazon.
- Utilize the world wide web for research on other species of
There are some very dangerous frogs in the Amazon. There are some
documented accounts of travelers touching some species of the Dart-Poison
Frog and going blind and even death. In the natural environment, some Dart
-Poison Frogs eat ants and develop the toxin dangerous to man from their
diet. The Formic Acid in ants has a toxicity impact on the frog's poison.
Most of the very dangerous Dart -Poison frogs do not live in Manu, but in
other parts of the Amazon and in Central America. For optional research at
the secondary level, students might want to research the more dangerous
frogs. They are Phyllobates bicolor and Phylobates terribilis.
There are several species of Dendrobates that are also considered
Dart-Poison Frogs and are very dangerous to the touch. These frogs are
very colorful and use these colors as warning signs for preditors. Also,
there are many non-poisonous frogs that mimic the colors of the dangerous
ones for protection. (Interview, Harry Ward, Associate Curator of Reptiles, Detroit Zoological
Society, Royal Oak, Michigan, October 17, 1997.)
There are many species of Dart-Poison Frogs in Peru. I have chosen the
following for location either near by or in Manu itself. In my research, I
have chosen the Manu Poison Frog, (Epipedobates macera), Peruvian Poison
Frog, (Epipedobates petersi), Spot-Legged Poison Frog, (Epipedobates
pictus) Silverstones Poison Frog, (Epipedobates silverstonei),
Brilliant-Thighed Poison Frog, ( Epipedobates femoralis), Three Striped
Poison Frog, Epipedobates trivitttatus), Sira Poison Frog, (Dendrobates
sirensis), Biolat Poison Frog, (Dendrobates biolat), and the Mimic Poison
Frog, (Dendrobates imitator). (Walls, Jerry G. Jewels of the Rainforest, Poison Frogs of the Family
Dendrobatidae, TFH Publications, 1994, Neptune City, N.J., pages 174,
197,212,229,239,236 and 234.)
- A copy of the PBS program, The Living Edens: "Manu, Peru's Hidden Rain Forest" (If you missed The Living Edens "Manu" program that aired on November 12, 1997 you can order the video)
- Downloaded templates of the Manu frogs with color guide: Template 1, Template 2, Template 3, and Template 4. (All data on color and size from: Walls, Jerry G. , Jewels of the
Rainforest, Poison Frogs of the Family Dendrobatidae, TFH Publications,
1994, Neptune City, N.J.)
- Paper /Pencil for research data
- Colored pencils, markers, crayons or school paint
- One sheet of poster board, size optional, for each student
- School glue
- Lettering stencil (optional for neatness)
- Student science journals
- Class will view the PBS program, The Living Edens: "Manu, Peru's Hidden Rain Forest" (If you missed The Living Edens "Manu" program that aired on November 12, 1997 you can order the video).
- Students will research poison frogs on the world wide web, from
books in the library and from magazines. They will collect data on on the
frogs of the Amazon and specifically those of Manu. There are several web
sites with photos of the Dart Poison Frogs. Record all research in student
- Students will each receive a full set of frog model templates with
a color guide, which they will color. Download frog templates here: Template 1, Template 2, Template 3, and Template 4. Not all frogs need to be used by all
students. Also, students may research other frogs and add them to the
- Students will cut out frogs templates and glue them on the poster
- Lettering for the species and any background information can be
done on a separate sheet, cut out and attached with glue on the poster next
to the frog.
- Students will complete poster and present it to the class.
Students can discuss the different frog species found on the poster.
Students can make up stories about the environment in which the frogs live
and tell those stories to the class. Also, a more technical approach can
be to learn the scientific names of the species. Posters can be placed
around the school for other students to see.
Younger students are caught by the brillant colors of the Dart-Poison
frogs. The color keys for the different species are included on the frog
templates. There is a special web site which has a story about a
Dart-Poison Frog at: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cerc/WildOnes/SFC/ENV/pafPOV1.html
High School Extension:
Students in secondary grades may research the many species of Dart-Poison
Frogs ( Dendrobates and Phyllobates). They might also research the frogs
in the Hylid family as these are often the mimics of the deadly frogs of
Manu. There are many interesting areas of investigation regarding the
decreasing numbers of frogs world wide.