Which Poison Frog Can Kill You?


– Which poison frog is more toxic? (dramatic orchestral music) Got ’em! Coyote’s not the only one who bleeds. (wild ambient music) What’s going on, everybody? I’m Mark Vins. Today we’re back in Costa Rica for another special adventure brought to you by our
friends at B&H Photo. And I’m particularly excited
for today’s adventure because we are looking for
one of my all-time favorite land animals, the poison frog. And not just one poison
frog, two poison frogs, the strawberry poison frog,
and my personal favorite, the green and black poison frog. And the reason I wanna find
and present these frogs to you today is because I wanna talk about just how toxic and dangerous
these frogs really are, and Mario’s gonna give
a special demonstration on how we get those
really cool macro shots of a small creature like a poison frog. But first things first,
we have to find some. Today we’re gonna search
just around our lodge here because this whole site is
full of bromeliad plants, and those are perfect breeding habitats for these species of frogs. So they tend to hang out pretty close by. As a matter of fact, I hear one right now. I’m gonna film on the GoPro. You guys follow me, and with any luck we’re gonna catch two
frogs really quickly. Okay, I think what I heard was actually the strawberry poison frog,
also called the pumilio. And I heard it coming
from right over here. Oh, there he was. Saw him right there. I’m gonna try to not disturb
the habitat too much. Ah, this one might’ve gotten away. So the frogs do have
burrows in these masses, and they have really great escape routes. They’re particularly hard to catch too because they jump with
a non-rhythmic motion, which means they don’t really
have any synchronization at all to the way they hop. That was our first miss, but we did see a strawberry
poison frog there. Let’s keep looking. We’re in the right spot. So these frogs are terrestrial. So what we’re looking for
are low hanging branches and leaves that they
can find cover around, and that’s typically where
you find these poison frogs. (dramatic music) Oh, got one. Got one! There he is. Oh, with the, shh-shh. Don’t move, don’t move. He’s right here. I’m gonna let it work its way out, and then I’m gonna go for the grab. Ready? Got a shot? Got ’em! (hoots) (laughs) Alright, ready for this? Here we go. Strawberry poison frog, we got one! Alright, that’s part one of
two of today’s adventure. Next up, the green and black poison frog, which is a little bit more
difficult to catch than this one. So for now, let’s get a container. Going to make a little micro habitat for this frog for a little bit. Some cover so it feels comfortable. There we go. Alright, let’s go find a
green and black poison frog. Alright, good news, bad news. The good news is we caught the first frog we’re after today, the
strawberry poison frog, and a really good one, too. The bad news is we’re in the rainforest, and that means sometimes it’s gonna rain. And there is a rainstorm
coming in right now. So we’re gonna let this shower pass by. There is a little blessing in disguise. This moisture is probably gonna bring out some of the frogs we’re looking for. So all we have to do
is wait a little while, and then we’ll be back at it, trying to find the green
and black poison frog. Alright, taking a quick break. (epic music) So the the rainstorm has
passed by, which is good news. Also good news because all the sudden the rainforest has come to life. We’re hearing tons of
frogs calling right now. Can you hear that? I can hear about six or
seven different species distinctively right now that
I wasn’t hearing before. So this is a really good
sign that we may come across that green and black poison frog a little sooner than we thought. Now the call of the strawberry poison frog is a little more distinct
and a little louder. It’s like a rip, rip,
rip, rip kind of sound. The green and black poison frog is a duller kind of (croaks), and it’s definitely a lot less audible. So we’re gonna have to listen
as we search along this edge. So unlike the strawberry poison frog, which I was able to sneak
right up on and catch, the green and black poison frog is definitely more elusive and shy. So I’m gonna have to be
looking a lot further ahead than the other species. I’ve actually never caught a green and black poison frog myself. So this is a pretty special day for me. This is my absolute favorite
species of poison frog. I’ve been obsessed with these creatures since I was in third grade. And this is really a dream come true to be out here today in Costa Rica finally getting hands on with
one of my favorite animals. If I’m lucky. Okay, nothing here. Let’s keep moving this way. (dramatic music)
Wait a second. I heard one. It’s gone. It’s so faint. I heard it for just a second. Let’s move over this way. – [Mario] There’s one. – Where?
– Big one, right there. It’s right there, yep. – Oh, I see it. I see it, I see it, I see it. Got ’em! (cheers) Oh, man! Alright, I don’t wanna lose ’em. Let’s go back over here. This is a big deal. Oh my goodness. Oh, no! Got ’em, got ’em, got ’em, got ’em. Almost got away. Oh, man, this is a big moment. My first ever green and black poison frog. Look at that. I have been dreaming of this moment since I was nine years old. Look at how beautiful that frog is. Now we have both poison frogs that we wanna take a closer look at today. Let’s put this one in a container and take a look at both
species side by side. Coyote’s not the only one who bleeds. I bleed blood. That whole bush that I just
caught the poison frog in is full of spotty plants. Ouch. Whew! Okay, well. There we have it. Poison frog verse poison frog. We are gonna take a quick look at the differences
between these two species before we get into the macro photography. So first things first, it’s pretty obvious that we have a size difference here. The strawberry poison frog
is more often than not a lot smaller than the
green and black poison frog. We can also notice they have very distinct
coloration differences, and I have to say look at how beautiful these two poison frogs are. They truly are the
jewels of the rainforest. Now they don’t just look
this way to impress us. There’s actually a reason why these frogs display the colorations that they do. This is what’s called
aposematic coloration, which is a warning sign
to predators that says don’t eat me because if you do, you’re gonna eat a
whole mouthful of toxics that I have in my skin. Now we’re gonna get to how
toxic these two creatures are in just a minute, but before we do, let’s talk about a couple
other differences in behavior. So they parent in very different ways. The strawberry poison frog
which genus is oophaga, which means egg eater,
actually takes their tadpoles once they’re hatched out
of the egg, deposit them in a small reservoir of water, this can be in a bromeliad plant, this can be in an empty coconut husk, this can be in a hollowed out log, and once the tadpoles are in there, the female will go and
deposit unfertilized eggs to feed their offspring. And this is the primary food
source for these tadpoles until they reach maturity
and become frogs. With the green and black poison frog, their parenting a little bit different. The male will actually carry
the tadpoles on its back to a water reservoir like a
bromeliad or a hollowed out log, and they will deposit the
tadpoles at different times. Now because of this, the
tadpoles have different stages of maturity, and while
they are good parents, they’re not the greatest
brothers and sisters because these tadpoles
unfortunately often cannibalize each other for resources. Because, unlike the
strawberry poison frog, which feeds on eggs from its parents, the green and black poison frog is completely reliant on its surroundings. So it’s gonna eat other
insect larva, algae, and mites that might
crawl around the surface. Time to answer the question
you’ve all been waiting for. Let’s talk about the toxicity
of these two poison frogs. Which one is more toxic? The short answer is it’s
pretty hard to tell. But for human beings, both of
these species are considered, get this, none threatening,
and that’s exactly why I’m able to hold both of these and present them for you here today. All I need to do after this presentation is wash my hands with soap and water, and I’m going to be just fine. Now, that being said, there
are varieties of poison frogs in South America that
are potentially dangerous and even deadly to human beings. And we’re actually gonna be
going on a trip to Columbia later this year to try
to find some of those. So while neither of these frogs
are potentially threatening to human beings, they’re both very toxic for their would-be predators. So I think we’ve take a pretty
good look at both of these little gems of the rainforest, and now is time for Mario to step in and show us some of the
cool tricks of the trade and how we get those awesome macro shots with some of our specialty lenses. Mario, you ready to step in? – [Mario] Alright, let’s do it. – Okay, cool. Okay, so we had to make a quick move there because the sun started to come out, and believe it or not,
despite being toxic, these frogs are actually
very, very fragile. So for the wellbeing of the frog, we wanted to move to the shade. And that being said, Mario, how
do we get these macro shots? – We’re gonna be using
this setup right here, which is the new Canon EOS
R and our favorite lens, the Macro 100 Millimeter Canon L-Series. So in order to get these
really tight shots, a few things have to be in our favor. Light and stability. So we like to use a nice,
sturdy tripod in order to get the stability we need
in low-light conditions. – [Mark] One of the
reasons why we really love this 100 mil macro lens is because of its amazing image stabilization. A lot of times we may not have
the most heavy-duty tripod, and we have to use light-weight gear. So that extra image
stabilization is critical. – So I’m gonna start recording. We’ve got this dual-pixel auto-focus, which means any little movement
will actually be tracked. Now unfortunately there is some movement in just holding this animal. It is very hard to keep still. But as you see, we’re already achieving that really fine detail that macro photography
actually will allow. – So how am I doing? Am I staying steady enough for ya? – You’re pretty steady, but I think we are done with this guy. Let’s go ahead and move
onto the green and black. – Okay, cool. Now time for the all-star,
my personal favorite, the green and black poison frog. Man, nine year old Mark
would be very, very pleased with how today’s going. In the world of macro, we went from the little
strawberry dart frog to this one. This is bigger. So now I have to actually
adjust a little bit at least for the distance. We wanna get kind of its
entire body in frame. That blue shirt with this
contrast of the green and black looks really nice. – [Mark] Thank you, Mario. I’ll take that as a compliment. – [Mario] It’s amazing you can
actually see its respiration. Beautiful. – So macro photography is
definitely a team effort, especially in a situation like this where you have one
person holding a specimen and one person getting the video. – [Mario] Great thing about
these cameras, of course, is you could also get your
still images from ’em. – [Mark] Okay, got both
frogs back in hand. Mario, you ready to get the thumbnail? – [Mario] Yes. – And since this episode is comparison of two of our favorite
species of poison frog, we’re gonna do a head-to-head
comparison for the thumbnail. (shutter clicking) – [Mario] Let’s get a green background. (shutter clicking) – Man, what an awesome day. Catching a strawberry poison
frog is always a great day, but I have to say for
myself, finding and catching my very first green and black poison frog was truly a special moment. So thank you for being here, Mario. That was awesome.
– Congratulations. – Thank you. And I do wanna say a special
thank you to B&H Photo for sponsoring this adventure. And here’s some good news. They’ve put together some
awesome gear and deal packages just for our audience. So if you go to
www.bhphoto.com/brave right now, you can take advantage
of those deal offerings and get outside and
make videos like we do! – Yeah, and don’t forget. Subscribe and hit the notification bell so you can join us on our next adventure. – Alright, starting to rain. Better wrap it up. – Yeah, let’s get out of here. I’m Mario Aldecoa. – I’m Mark Vins. – Be brave. – [Mark] Stay wild. – We’ll see you on the next adventure. – Alright, let’s let ’em go. (bright light music) Thanks for hanging out. Alright, see you later. Whoop. Do you know what’s better than subscribing to “Brave Wilderness”? Joining the Brave Crew. By becoming a Brave Crew member, you will instantly gain
access to exclusive videos you can’t see anywhere else. So if you don’t wanna wait
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clicking the join button on our channel homepage. (wild ambient music)

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