Happy Father's Day!

Move over, animal moms—it’s time to celebrate awesome animal dads, like the imitating poison dart frog!

Published June 17, 2018

The imitating poison dart frog is one of the most unique animal dads in the world. As the only known frog species to demonstrate monogamy, the male and female stay together for their entire lives, but the parental roles of the dad may not be what you expect.

Imitating poison dart frog sitting on a log

All dart frogs lay their eggs on land, and when their tadpoles are born, they must be transported to water. Male imitating dart frogs are in charge of transporting each of the tadpoles into their own pool of water! It takes about six to eight weeks for these tadpoles to grow and develop into young frogs.

During this period of six to eight weeks, the male is the parent that checks on each of the developing tadpoles. There may be times when tadpoles do not have enough food to eat, but that is what the male is for! The tadpoles indicate that they need more food by nibbling on the legs of their dad. If that is the case, the male will go get the female and bring her to the tadpoles’ pool to lay infertile eggs for the tadpole to eat.

Imitating poison dart frogs can care for as many as six tadpoles at one time, and with each tadpole in a different pool, dad stays busy!

Learn more about dart frogs!

Previous Post

Featured Stories

WeGo at the National Aquarium WeGo: Bringing the Aquarium to Critically Ill Children

A pilot program at the National Aquarium brings the wonder of the world’s aquatic treasures directly to children in local hospitals.

Read the full story

Octopus eye Octopuses: Extraordinary Eyesight

To celebrate World Octopus Day, learn more about the octopus’s remarkable eyesight!

Read the full story

Related Stories

Father’s Day Volunteer Spotlight: Peter and Ruthie Griffith

Published June 18, 2017

Amazing Animal Dads!

Published June 19, 2016