Green and Black Poison Arrow Frog. (Dendrobates auratus)
We were exploring a cacao farm with a couple of elderly donors of the Smithsonian, graciously showing them our facility and the surrounding country. These little guys were everywhere, and we caught a couple to show to our guests. They aren’t poisonous as long as you don’t get the poison in your system by eating them or (according to Mel Gibson) getting beset upon by angry natives. As it was, the only thing we were eating were the raw cacao beans, which are quite possibly the worst tasting objects ever. I’m sorely glad that I wasn’t the one to vet the process of how to make these acrid tasting turds into something delicious. I’m telling you, we got in at the right step of the process. To all the ancient Aztecs and Mayans who somehow convinced themselves that these things would be good, in addition to being just barely edible, I take my hat off.