MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: if you coated a frog in pepto bismal could you...

Area: Zoology
Posted By: Joseph Agro, SME from AT and T
Date: Mon Oct 13 13:12:50 1997
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 876436788.Zo
First of all, I must say that this is the most "interesting" question I 
have gotten in a while.

I suppose if you could find a substance to coat the frog with to protect it 
from the acids in the human stomach, it would squirm around for a while 
until it died from lack of oxygen.

I won't deal with the idea of how long it could live without oxygen, but 
specifically with the idea of how long it would survive with a protective 
coating inside a stomach,

I need to paint a picture to explain this better.  Imagine taking a small 
dot of red dye and placing it in a small cup of water.  It becomes diluted 
yet still makes the cup red.  If you place the dot of dye in a bucket, the 
dilution is much greater, but sill red.  Place the dot in a swimming pool 
and it basically disappears.

The human stomach works much in the same way.  It keeps pouring more and 
more acid onto its contents until it reached the desired pH, or acid level.

The frog would survive only as long as it took for the acids to neutralize 
the protective coating and then it would be digested as food is.

This is all assuming that the frog was small enough to swallow without 
getting stuck.

Other materials that could be used are Latex Rubber - it would totally 
protect the frog - again, killing it from lack of oxygen, but keeping it 
safe from the acids of the stomach.  I suppose you could use glass, but 
that's dangerous too.  Copper and certan other metals seem to fair well in 
stomach acids as well, so you could build the frog a small container to 
stay in while it is in the stomach.

Toads warts are actually just bumps (in most cases) that are part of it's 
camouflage.  It helps to keep the toad hidden in the woods, sand dunes, 

Frogs generally don't get warts although I'm sure there are frogs that can 
be found with wart-looking bumps.

I hope this answers your question.

- Joe

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