Red-eyed tree frogs are certainly the poster child of the American conservation movement. I've seen their photographs in all types of journals, from National Geographic to Discovery Channel. And in advertisements throughout many different industries. And the reason for that is because of their very unique look. Giant red eyes on a frog with orange feet and blue sides is a striking thing to look at.
They inhabit the Central and South American rainforest. I see these all the time in my travels to Costa Rica. They're actually quite common down there. You'll see them in huge numbers. Actually, you'll hear them before you see them. They have a very unique call. So, they're always hanging out in certain trees, doing their thing, which is hunting for insects at night, and trying to stay alive by staying away from the many animals that use them as prey.
Red-eyed tree frogs are known for their ability to jump, but also they're very, very stealthful in their way that they walk. They don't want to be detected, so they can leap like that, but they also have a tendency to walk. And this is what you see sometimes in the trailers of movies and National Geographic episodes et cetera. You'll see red-eyed tree frogs walking.
When they are sleeping during the day, they have to hide all those beautiful colors. So, they will close their eyelid and you will see nothing but a little slit. And it almost looks like a leaf covering their eyes. It's very, very cryptic. Then they hide their toe pads underneath their bodies and they fold in so you cannot see these beautiful markings along the side anymore, and they just disappear.
They will hang on the undersides of leaves to stay away from predators so they can't be detected. And it's a very effective way of staying alive. They sleep right out in the open, but because of their fantastic ability to hide amongst the leaves and their eyes mimic almost a leaf pattern, they just kind of disappear.
So, the red-eyed tree frog is an animal that scientists look at, with all tree frogs, as a barometer of how the environment is doing. Frogs are very susceptible to any kind of toxicity. Bad water, bad air, and frogs are really in trouble. We see frogs in trouble, really on the verge of extinction in some areas all around the planet, due to pollution and things that are happening in our environment. So, they're highly studied, highly recognizable by even the layperson. The red-eyed tree frog, I'll say of Costa Rica, is one of our favorites.