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02 January 2010

Royal Xenological Society, Vol. 4

Amphibian Life on Venus

Dendrobates venustica ozymandias "Croyden's Blue and Bronze"
D. v. ozymandias "Croyden's Blue and Bronze" on the hunt.
Dendrobates venustica buzzomelas

D. v. buzzomelas

Our journal has recently obtained photostats of some of the most colorful creatures on the Veiled Planet. Mister Godfrey Croyden, a Fellow of our Xenological Society, has forwarded this report via the most recently arrived etherdispatch.

The first creature shown is the Dendrobates venustica ozymandias, which comes in many different color morphs. The particular morph in these photostats was first discovered by Mister Croyden, and is therefore known as "Croyden's blue and bronze." The typical specimen is about seven feet in length, and feeds on a variety of small reptiles, birds and mammals. It has not been known to attack humans, as they are too large for the frog to eat. Mister Croyden has confirmed that the D. v. ozymandias is, like its cousins, poisonous. The bright coloration serves as warning to the large carnivorous dinosaurs - don't eat me!

The second creature is a slightly larger cousin to the D. v. ozymandias: a sterling example of Dendrobates venustica buzzomelas. As even the most obtuse of xenologists can see, the D. v. buzzomelas has a color morph of yellow and black, quite different from the first specimen. Again, the bright coloration is not intended to act as camoflage to hide the huge amphibian, but instead to act as a warning of toxicity. The skin on the back of these dendrobates (and all of their cousins) exudes an extrememly potent toxin. Contact with bare human skin results in virtually instantaneous paralysation and death within minutes.

The D. v. buzzomelas is often called the "Bumblebee" after the Earth insect with similar coloration. Each individual animal has a distinctive pattern, as unique as a tiger's stripes.

[Editor's notes: Both of these frogs are real, though I have changed their species names. The blue one is actually a Dendrobates auratus "Blue and Bronze" named Ozymandias (or Oz). The yellow one is a Dendrobatus leucomelas named Buzz. They are our new family pets. And yes, they are poison dart frogs. In captivity, they are pretty much harmless, but since they don't like handling anyway, we leave them alone. Each is about an inch or so long.]


Eli Arndt said...

Nice! Is Royal Xenological Society going to become another regular post as well? I know you have many many beasties populating your world.

J Womack, Esq. said...

Yeah, I was thinking it might become a regular feature as well. Although this one was just a way of putting pictures of our new pets on a gaming blog!