Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Amphibians » Fire-Bellied Toads and Barbourulas: Bombinatoridae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Fire-bellied Toads, Barbourulas, And People - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT

Fire-Bellied Toads and Barbourulas: Bombinatoridae - Fire-bellied Toads, Barbourulas, And People

colors predator learn sometimes

People often buy and sell fire-bellied toads as pets, partly for their beautiful coloration, partly for their display of the unken reflex, and partly because they are quite easy to keep. Many of these frogs can live more than ten years in captivity. Sometimes pet owners find that the flashy colors on a pet fire-bellied toad's underside fades, but they can brighten up the belly again if they feed the toad the right types of foods. The species in this family also sometimes wind up in laboratories where scientists study how they develop from eggs to adults or learn how the animals' bodies work.

PREDATOR LEARNING

The fire-bellied toads use their colors to advertise to predators that they taste bad. This can only work, however, if the predators learn what the colors mean. How does a predator learn? When a young predator finds one of these frogs for the first time, it only sees what it thinks is an easy meal. When it takes the frog into its mouth, however, the frog oozes an unpleasant-tasting poison from its skin, and the surprised predator quickly spits it out. Sometimes the frog dies from the attack, but often it survives. In either case, the predator has learned a lesson to stay away from these frogs and anything that looks like them. This is why many poisonous animals have bright colors, especially red. Scientists call such warning colors aposematic (ay-POE-sem-AT-ik) coloration.

Fire-Bellied Toads and Barbourulas: Bombinatoridae - Conservation Status [next] [back] Fire-Bellied Toads and Barbourulas: Bombinatoridae - Behavior And Reproduction

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