Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Poisonous vs Venomous Animals


1. Title 
Poisonous vs Venomous Animals

2. Science Discipline
Biology

3. Science Behind It

What is poison?
- A chemical substance that causes disturbances within an organism’s body either via chemical reactions or disrupting the molecular composition of enzymes or receptors, after a substantial dose enters the body system.

What is a toxin?
- Poisons that are produced in living cells, which may consist of molecules, proteins or peptides are called toxins. Toxicity of toxins ranges in severity from minor bee stings to deadly effect.

What is venom?
- Toxins transferred via defensive or offensive mechanisms such as biting, stinging, or stabbing with spikes or thorny protrusions are called venoms.

4. Why is This Science Important/Relevant to Us?

How are poisonous and venomous animals differentiated or identified?
- Poisonous and venomous animals are differentiated from the way the toxins are transferred to the victims. Poisonous animals secrete toxins through their skins, internal organs and tissues. Their methods of delivery of toxins are not specific or the toxins are passively transferred, such as through touch, being sniffed or eaten.

- Venomous animals secrete venoms for the purpose of harming other organisms, transferring them through defensive or offensive means such as biting with fangs, stinging, or stabbing with spikes, tentacles or thorny protrusions. Antivenoms may be used to treat venomous bites or stings.

5. Pop Quiz!

Test yourself! How well can you identify poisonous, non-poisonous and venomous animals?

1. The Indochinese leopard can be found in Peninsular Malaysia.
 It is:
A. Non-poisonous.
B. Poisonous.
C. Venomous.

Answer: A. While non-poisonous, the Indochinese leopard is still a dangerous hunter.


2. The poison dart frog hops around the Amazon jungle in South Amer
It is:
A. Non-poisonous.
B. Poisonous.
C. Venomous.

Answer: B. The poison dart frog is lethal to the touch, as exhibited by its bright colours.


3. The stonefish can be found in the Indo-Pacific coastal oceans.
It is:
A. Non-poisonous.
B. Poisonous.
C. Venomous.

Answer: C. The stonefish is venomous as it is ugly. The most venomous fish in the world, it has spikes on its back that has venom-secreting sacs. 


4. The already spiny pufferfish can inflate itself with water to be spherical and larger in shape.
It is:
A. Non-poisonous.
B. Poisonous.
C. Venomous.

Answer: B. The pufferfish’s internal organs and some parts of its skin are laced with toxins. Specially trained chefs in Japan, Korea and China prepare its meat carefully as a delicacy, and those that are not served properly can even cause deaths to the customers.


5. The box jellyfish can be found in some waters of the Malay Archipelago.
It is:


A. Non-poisonous.
B. Poisonous.
C. Venomous.

Answer: C. The sting from a box jellyfish’s tentacles is extremely painful and fatal to humans.


6. The brown widow spider is only recently discovered in Malaysia and Singapore.
It is:
A. Non-poisonous.
B. Poisonous.
C. Venomous.

Answer: C. Do not get bitten by one of these! Ouch!


7. The deathstalker scorpion lives in North America and some parts of the Middle East.
It is:
A. Non-poisonous.
B. Poisonous.
C. Venomous.

Answer: C. The deathstalker scorpion’s reputation as the deadliest scorpion in the world proceeds itself.


8. The equatorial spitting cobra can be found in our Malaysian forests.
It is:
A. Non-poisonous.
B. Poisonous.
C. Venomous.

Answer: C. Very aggressive when provoked, the equatorial spitting cobra is extremely dangerous.


9. The reticulated python can also be found in our Malaysian forests.
It is:
A. Non-poisonous.
B. Poisonous.
C. Venomous.

Answer: A. The reticulated python is non-poisonous, yet a full-grown 10-m-long adult can strangle a fully grown human and swallow it whole.


10. The spur-winged goose can be found in Africa.
It is:
A. Non-poisonous.
B. Poisonous.
C. Venomous.

Answer: B. The spur-winged goose’s meat is poisonous due to its diet of blister beetles. Eating it can kill a human. This is where the English idiom “your goose is cooked” comes from. Fortunately, Malaysians do not have to worry about eating poisonous geese because this species of goose is only found in Africa.


11. The inland taipan can be found in Australia
It is:
A. Non-poisonous.
B. Poisonous.
C. Venomous.

Answer: C. The inland taipan is a shy animal compared to the cobra. Yet if it is cornered or provoked, as the most venomous snake in the world, its bite can kill a human within 30 to 45 minutes if untreated immediately.


12. The fossils of the feathered Sinornithosaurus were found in the Cretaceous-aged rocks in China.
It is possibly:
A. Non-poisonous.
B. Poisonous.
C. Venomous.

Answer: C. It is still debated as to whether the Sinornithosaurus was venomous. Based on the fossil record, it had serrated fangs with grooves typically seen in venomous animals with fangs.


6. References




Shared by Rizal Lai
Guest Blogger

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