The phantasmal poison frog is not only beautiful, but it is also exceptionally tiny. It grows to only about .4 to 1.6 inches in length. But don't let that small stature food you. It carries enough poison to kill even an adult human. Scientists have looked into the possibilities of using the potent poison of this frog, and have developed a painkiller called Epibatidine that is 200 times more powerful than morphine yet without any addictive qualities. Currently scientists are trying to breed the species in captivity while maintaining its toxicity -- something most poison frogs lose because the diet from which they derive the poison is altered. Captive breeding will be a must for future study since the phantasmal poison frog is endangered in its native Ecuador, due primarily to habitat loss.
Photo credit: Valerie C. Clark
Text credit: Jaymi Heimbuch