Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Many venomous animals, such as this greater blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata), are brightly colored or can display bright colors to warn potential predators

Numerous animal species naturally produce chemical toxins which are used to kill or incapacitate prey or as a defense against predators. Venomous animals deliver these toxins as venom through a bite, sting, or other specially evolved mechanism.

Venoms have evolved to serve a wide variety of purposes. Their intended effects can range from mild fleeting discomfort to paralysis and death, and they may be highly selective in which species they target, often making them harmless to all but a few specific co-evolved organisms. Because the definition of "venomous" can be extremely broad, this list includes only those animals with venom that is known or suspected to be medically significant for humans or domestic animals.

Contents

InvertebratesEdit

ArachnidsEdit

Strictly speaking, all spiders and scorpions possess venom, though only a handful are dangerous to humans. Spiders typically deliver their venom with a bite from piercing, fang-like chelicerae; scorpions sting their victims with a long, curved stinger mounted on the telson.

SpidersEdit

 
Latrodectus mactans, one of several venomous North American black widows

ScorpionsEdit

Of more than a thousand known species of scorpion, only a few dozen have venom that is dangerous to humans,[3] most notably the bark scorpions, including:

InsectsEdit

Other arthropodsEdit

  • Many species of centipede
  • The remipede Xibalbanus tulumensis is a centipede-like crustacean with a long segmented body and scores of legs which display a swimming motion. They live in underground anchialine caves of Mexico and Central America. Although blind, they are formidable predators, and feed on the shrimp that share their underground pools.[4]

CnidariansEdit

CephalopodsEdit

Many species of octopus, squid, and cuttlefish make use of venom when hunting their prey.

  • The blue-ringed octopodes (Hapalochlaena spp.) produce tetrodotoxin, which is extremely toxic to even the healthiest adult humans, though the number of actual fatalities they have caused is far lower than the number caused by spiders and snakes, with which human contact is more common.[6]

VertebratesEdit

FishEdit

 
Synanceia verrucosa, a species of stonefish, is lined with dorsal spines that deliver an intensely painful and lethal venom. It is sometimes called the most venomous fish in the world.

There are at least 1,200 species of venomous fish, including:

ReptilesEdit

SnakesEdit

 
The black mamba has one of the deadliest bites of any snake

LizardsEdit

AmphibiansEdit

MammalsEdit

Only a few modern mammal species are capable of producing venom; they are likely the last living examples of what was once a more common trait among the mammals. The definition of "venomous" becomes less distinct here, however, and whether some species are truly venomous is still disputed.

DinosaursEdit

Some scientists have proposed that Sinornithosaurus had a venomous bite, but recent evidence suggests otherwise.[9]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The venom is produced only by the male and only during the breeding season.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Funnel-web Spiders Archived 27 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine. at the Australian Museum, Sydney
  2. ^ Jone SC. "Ohio State University Fact Sheet: Brown Recluse Spider". Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2006-09-02. 
  3. ^ "Poisonous Animals: Scorpion (Scorpiones)". library.thinkquest.org. ThinkQuest. c. 2000. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  4. ^ http://www.mentalfloss.com/article/54168/meet-worlds-only-known-venomous-crustacean
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 2014-12-03. 
  6. ^ http://animal.discovery.com/convergence/oceans-deadliest/deadliest-creatures/deadliest-creatures_05.html
  7. ^ Grady, Denise Venom Runs Thick in Fish Families, Researchers Learn New York Times 22 August 2006.
  8. ^ Ternay, A. "Dangerous and Venomous Aquarium Fish" (PDF). fishchannel.com. 
  9. ^ Gianechini, F.A., Agnolín, F.L. and Ezcurra, M.D. (2010). "A reassessment of the purported venom delivery system of the bird-like raptor Sinornithosaurus." Paläontologische Zeitschrift, in press. doi:10.1007/s12542-010-0074-9

External linksEdit