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One gram of this frog’s venom is enough to kill 80 people

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:03PM EST
Venomous Frogs Deadlier Pit Viper
Image: Butantan Institute/Carlos Jared

Yes, there are some very poisonous frogs in the world. But it turns out researchers had no idea how scary some of these frogs were until recently when they discovered frogs that can deliver venom to an attacker using spikes that protrude from their heads. And here’s the craziest part: One gram of venom is enough to kill as many as 80 humans or 300,000 mice.

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Discovered in Brazil, the two species are called Aparasphenodon brunoi (image above) and Corythomantis greeningi (pictured below).

The former has venom that’s 25 times more powerful than a pit viper’s toxin, while the C. greeningi’s venom is “just” 2 times more powerful than the viper’s.

There are the first frogs that can deliver venom to an attacker via sharp spines from their heads that deliver venom via poison glands, making them unique among poisonous frogs. All other poisonous frogs don’t actually actively deliver toxins, which is why they’re not classified as venomous in the same way that snakes are.

Researchers discovered these frogs’ venomous spikes by accident while studying some of the less-toxic frogs for research. The less-dangerous of the two injured Butantan Institute researcher Carlos Jared, who subsequently suffered intense, radiating pain for five hours, the IBTimes reports.

A. brunoi has an orange-and-brown coloration and spends most of its time in the humidity of rain forests. Meanwhile, the C. greeningi likes dry and rocky surroundings.

More details about these frogs are available in the study published in Current Biology.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.