Move Over Joe Camel


If Joe Camel was sent into exile because the cartoon camel made kids smoke, what are we going to do with the recently discovered nicotine addicted frogs

Scientists, who believe these certain frogs 'evolved' into poisonous frogs by eating alkaloid—rich ants, have found nicotine in one in 22 Mantella baroni frogs examined.  So, about 4.5% of this frog population is hooked on the same nicotine found in cigarettes. 

But so far no nicotine—producing plants have been found growing in the area where this frog was found. This was the first time researchers observed this phenomena and they are not sure how the chemical enters the frog's system.

If there are no nicotine—producing plants in the area, can it be that these green friends of ours are making late night trips to the nearest 7/11 to pick up a few packs?  Do the underage ones have to beg an old—time croaker to make the purchase for them?

Regarding the evolution part of this story, if eating something over and over again (which the frogs do with the ants) constitutes a Darwinian leap, then most of us can look forward to becoming a strange conglomeration of chicken, beef and pork.  In other words, Hot—dog man. 

Other frog stories were in the news yesterday as well.  One type of shrieking frog is driving Hawaiians nuts.  The frog was imported, illegally I might add, from Puerto Rico.  Now the locals are asking for federal funding to deal with the problem.  Sound familiar?

One final story deals with red—eyed tree frog embryos forced from their eggs early to avoid being eaten by snakes.  And you thought man was the biggest threat to 'nature's' creatures. 

J. James Estrada   8 10 05