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“Senjata” Beracun Kepala Katak di Brazil

Biolog Jared Carlos et al (2015) merilis hasil riset dua spesies katak beracun (Corythomantis greeningi dan Aparasphenodon brunoi) di Brazil. Dengan duri-duri pada kepalanya, dua spesies katak itu dapat mengirim semburan beracun ke hewan-hewan lain. Riset itu didanai oleh São Paulo Research Foundation (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo/ FAPESP), Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) dan  National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) di Brazil (Jared et al., “Venomous Frogs Use Heads as Weapons”, Current Biology, 2015), (Cell Press, 6/8/2015).

Edmund Brodie, Jr  dari Utah University (Amerika Serikat) dan Carlos Jared dari Instituto Butantan di São Paulo (Brazil) mempelajari khusus sistem buru predator dari jenis binatang ampibi. Saat melakukan riset itu, tangan Carlos Jared, Ph.D, terluka akibat duri kepala katak, sehingga sakit selama kira-kira 5 (lima) jam. Jared Carlos terkena racun yang tidak begitu kuat jika dibandingkan dengan racun dua spesies katak A. Brunoi. Perhitungan para peneliti menunjukkan bahwa satu gram racun keluar dari spesies katak  A. brunoi, dapat membunuh lebih dari 300.000 tikus atau sekitar 80 manusia (Science Daily, 6/8/2015).

Riset itu melibatkan Jared Carlos, Ph.D; Mailho-Fontana PL; Antoniazzi MM; Mendes VA; dan Barbaro KC dari Laboratory of Cell Biology, Instituto Butantan di São Paulo (Brazil) dan Rodriques MT dari Department of Zoology, Universidade de São Paulo di São Paulo (Brazil), dan Profesor emeritus Brodie ED Jr, Ph.D, dari Department of Biology, Utah State University di Logan-Utah (Amerika Serikat) (Jared et al, 2015).

“Discovering a truly venomous frog is nothing any of us expected, and finding frogs with skin secretions more venomous than those of the deadly pit vipers of the genus Bothrops was astounding. It is unlikely that a frog of this species produces this much toxin, and only very small amounts would be transferred by the spines into a wound. Regardless, we have been unwilling to test this by allowing a frog to jab us with its spines,” papar Edmund Brodie, Jr. dari Utah State University, Amerika Serikat (Cell Press, 6/8/2015). 

Oleh: Servas Pandur