American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A steroid alkaloid derived from skin secretions of the Phyllobates and Dendrobates genera of South American poison-arrow frogs. It is one of the most potent venoms known.
- From Ancient Greek βάτραχος (batrachos, "frog") and τοξίνη (toxine, "poison") (Wiktionary)
- Greek batrakhos, frog + toxin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Incidentally, (1) it seems that not all pitohui species are poisonous (although further study is required to be absolutely sure about this), (2) that another New Guinean passerine, the Rufous shrike-thrush Colluricincla megarhyncha, also produces batrachotoxin, and (3) that multiple other non-poisonous New Guinea passerines (including some other pitohuis) may mimic poisonous pitohuis and therefore gain protection from predators too (Diamond 1992, Dumbacher & Fleischer 2001).”
“While it’s nowadays reasonably well known that pitohuis (a group of six species of pachycephalid passerines, also endemic to New Guinea) produce batrachotoxin in their skin and feathers, it was shown in 2000 that Ifrita does too (Dumbacher et al. 2000).”
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Naturally occurring toxins, not always deadly to humans, but all part of nature's extensive chemical vocabulary (Most are synonyms for "please go away and die somewhere else" or "please leave me a...
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