A Rough Skinned Newt vs. A Bullfrog

Rough-skinned newt

Image via Wikipedia

I was watching Nat Geo Wild recently and (being a complete and total nerd about amphibians) found this video fascinating. The Rough skinned newt (Taricha granulosa) is a lunged salamander with a tetrodotoxin (TTX) in their skin. “This toxin binds reversibly to sodium channels in nerve cells and interferes with the normal flow of sodium ions in and out of the cell. This has the effect of inducing paralysis and death”(Source #2). When showing their brightly colored underbelly doesn’t repel a predator, the toxins in their skin will generally win. If you know anything about bullfrogs, you know how intensely gluttonous they can be. If they can fit it in their mouth, they will eat it. As you’ll see, this bullfrog should have been a bit more selective:



  1. http://www.californiaherps.com/salamanders/pages/t.granulosa.html
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rough-skinned_newt

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