Thursday, December 11, 2008

Venomous Animals

When we use the word "Venomous" in biology, we refer to animals that deliver their toxin into another animal by some method. Possible methods of delivery are fangs, stingers, spines, and stinging tentacles. Venomous animals tend to be (but are not exclusively) predatory animals, while many "poisonous" animals are potentially prey items. Here is a collection of various venomous animals.

A species of Australian Spider Wasp
(family Pompilidae) drags away a Huntsman
Spider it has paralyzed with its sting.

Velvet Ant (Dasymutilla occidentalis) is a
species of wasp with flightless females and have
a very painful sting. All members of the order
Hymenoptera (ants, wasps, bees) are venomous

An Australian moth caterpillar
with venomous spines, each
spine has a venom sac at the base

Fishing Spider (Dolomedes sp.) like all
spiders deliver venom to prey with fangs.
The venom helps to begin digestion
before the spider even begins eating.

Scorpions inject venom into prey through a
stinger at the end of the tail. Scorpions and
spiders are the only venomous arachnids.

Giant Desert Centipede (Scolopendra heros)
a close look at the venom fangs, Arizona race

Blue Ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena sp.) are 3
species of venomous octopus that deliver venom
while biting with the beak, Australian Coastal

Textile Cone (Conus textile) injects its venom
into prey using a dart at the end of a proboscis.
Conotoxins are some of the most powerful
animal poisons in the world.

Lion's Mane Jelly (Cyanea capillata), Jellies
inject venom through stinging cells in the tentacles

Freshwater Stingray (Potamotrygon
) Stingrays have a venomous spine
in the tail used for defense.

Gila Monsters (Heloderma suspectum) have
venomous saliva and sharp teeth, thus delivering
venom to prey through bites.

A young Cape Cobra (Naja nivea) has venom
glands, with neurotoxic venom (acting on the
nervous system), attached to hollow fixed fangs.

* Vipers have curved folding fangs.

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) males
have venom spines on the backs of the wrists
of the hind feet used often to fight other males
over territory and over females.

Northern Short Tailed Shrews (Blarina
) like a few other shrew species
have venomous saliva deliverd to prey through
a bite.

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