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Red-eyed tree frog - an iconic rainforest amphibian using vivid peepers to shock predators

Baku, May 21, AZERTAC

Many animals around the world have developed their original, effective defense techniques, helping them to warn off a potential predator.

However, a technique described in today’s article could literally shock anyone who would mess with its user - the Red-eyed tree frog.

When disturbed, these iconic rainforest amphibians flash their bulging red eyes and reveal their huge, webbed orange feet and bright blue-and-yellow flanks.

This technique, called startle coloration, may give a bird or snake pause, offering a precious instant for the frog to spring to safety.

Moreover, their neon-green bodies may play a similar role in thwarting predators. The shocking colors of this frog may over-stimulate a predator's eyes, creating a confusing ghost image that remains behind as the frog jumps away.

According to the National Geographic, red-eyed tree frogs, despite their conspicuous coloration, are not venomous and are found in tropical lowlands from southern Mexico, throughout Central America, and in northern South America.

Nocturnal carnivores, they hide in the rain forest canopy and ambush crickets, flies, and moths with their long, sticky tongues.

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