- I'm Coyote Peterson and that right there,
that's poison frog.
(adventurous world music)
Living inside each and every one of us
is a call to adventure.
Follow that call to Costa Rica, and will likely lead you on
a trail to the Osa Peninsula,
where you are certain to make discoveries
that will never be forgotten.
(suspenseful music) (humming)
(gasps) Is there something on my face?
Central America is one of the most biologically
diverse locations on the planet.
If you know where to look, there's a chance you will
encounter it's most elusive amphibian species,
a tiny, yet toxic creature that's always lived at
the top of my animal wish list.
However, finding one would not be simple, and this
adventure would require the team and I to journey deep
into the heart of the Rainforest.
One thing that you don't realize, until you're in
the Costa Rican Rainforest is just how sweltering
it really is.
We've scaled down the side of this ravine and made it
to a creek bed, the perfect place to search for amphibians.
What I'm after are poison frogs.
Let's head up this way and see what we can find.
Getting into poison frog territory is only half the battle.
The Rainforest poses many challenges, but none more
paralyzing for a camera team than a massive rain storm.
Well, I guess this is why they call it the Rainforest.
It's really raining now.
For nearly two hours, we were forced to keep the cameras
in protective bags while our bodies soaked up the deluge
of torrential rain.
While rain is bad for cameras, it's absolutely perfect
for bringing amphibians out of their hiding spots.
You hear something?
- [Videographer] Yeah.
- We got one right in here.
I see him.
Come over slow.
Yes, right there!
He's right there on the edge of that leave.
Do you see him?
- [Videographer] Hold on.
- Red and teal, that's it.
Let me see if I can just get him to hop up onto my hand.
There we go, got him.
Awesome, all right, now that we finally got one,
let's get him out into the better light and get him
up close to the cameras.
Woo, how cool is this?
Okay, I'll take off my pack here.
Finally, we have found, a poison frog.
Get ready, this is the granulated variety.
Oh, oh, come here little guy, I'm gonna try to just
get him to balance on my hand there for a second,
so you can see him, look how adorable that little
I'm gonna get him under better control so we can keep
him here for this scene.
Come here little guy.
Gently hold onto his back leg.
- [Videographer] That is an awesome photograph.
- That is a cool frog right there.
I'm pretty safe right now, I'm sure y'all watching
just thinking to yourselves, "Oh boy, Coyote,
"here you go again, handling another dangerous animal."
Trust me, I'm in no danger as long as I don't lick
or eat this little tiny frog.
This has to be the most brightly colored frog I think
I've ever come across.
Being from Ohio, I'm used to catching green frogs
and bullfrogs, they're brown and green.
You look at this environment, the Rainforest,
you think to yourself,
"How does this frog possibly camouflage itself?"
Well it doesn't, it's actually doing exactly the opposite.
This bright coloration is called aposematic coloration.
It's actually a defense against predators because it warns
them, "If you eat me, I'm extremely toxic."
Now this specific species, the green legged poison frog
is not quite as toxic as some others.
There are some species in South America that are so
potent, I could die within a matter of hours.
Now because this is an amphibian, it absorbed a lot of
its moisture through its skin, so I'm constantly
putting water on my hand from this creek and dribbling
it onto the frog to keep his skin wet and my fingers wet.
My fingers are also capable of extracting some of the
moisture from his frogs body.
The most important things is to make sure I'm handling
it gently and keeping this amphibian moist.
Now one interesting feature about poisonous frogs
that separates them from may other frog species is
that they do not have webbing in between their toes.
Can you see there, almost looks like the little toes
of a gecko.
I don't know if we'll be able to see with the micro-shot
but they do have little sticky pads right on the tips
of their fingers which allow them to easily climb
through the environment, on leaves, up and down logs
and allows them to hunt through the forest for their food.
What they're primarily feeding on is little ants, mites
and other invertebrates that have high-concentrations
These alkaloids, once they're ingested into the frogs
system, allow them to produce the toxins that make
That's a pretty cool feature.
Basically, the food that he's taking in is turning
him to this super power toxic amphibian.
Male poison frogs are incredibly territorial
and our wildlife biologist, Mario, managed to find himself
in the right place at the right time to film an epic battle.
(epic cinematic music)
This was a true clash of tiny giants as the frogs
went head-to-head with spin moves and body swings.
This defensive behavior is rarely seen and only a few
have ever captured it on camera.
The rivalry was intense, it only lasted for a brief moment
as the challenger was pinned belly-up
and finally driven off.
With victory claimed, the king of this territory sat
and croaked loudly upon his leafy throne.
Now, I never recommend that you go out and actually pick up
one of these poison frogs.
Now this species is not potent enough to kill a human,
but if you had a cut on your finger, some of that toxin
gets into your system, it will give you a nauseous
stomach and you'll probably have to lay down for
a couple hours.
What a cool experience, getting to handle a beautiful,
yet toxic amphibian, here in the Costa Rican Rainforest.
I'm Coyote Peterson, be brave!
Stay wild, we'll see you on the next adventure.
Every time we film an episode of Breaking Trail,
we're faced with unique challenges.
Between the unforgiving terrain, an onslaught of inclement
weather, this episode specifically was one of the most
difficult we have ever produced.
Seems crazy that such a small creature like the
poison frog would pose such a challenge.
But in the end, this was one adventurous episode
that was totally worth the effort.
The poison frog wasn't the only creature that came out
after the rain, check out this crazy looking whip scorpion
that somehow ended up on my face.
And don't forget, subscribe to join me and the crew
on this season of Breaking Trail.
(coyote howling) (birds chirping)