Does it really matter if poison and venom are different? After all, neither is fun once it makes its way into your body.
Yes, there is a difference between venomous and poisonous animals. The interchanging use of the words causes mass confusion and is evident among those you would think should know the difference.
Even the U.S. Army produced a book on “Poisonous Snakes.” Frankly, there are none.
All snakes that produce deadly toxins are venomous. Some frogs are poisonous while others are venomous. So, what’s the difference?
Generally speaking venom is injected in some way. It would be through a bite, lances, or any number of defensive and offensive methods. Such as the way a scorpion attacks. Poisons are ingested or absorbed.
In a recent study published in Smithsonian Magazine, the first known venomous frog was discovered in Brazil. Carlos Jared, a biologist with Brazil’s Brutantan Institute, was collecting specimen of a tree frog called Corythomantis greeningi also known as Greening Frog.
He noticed that his hands were beginning to feel pain in the palm.
It took a little time, but he realized that it was due to the barehanded collection of the frogs. They would move their head and inject a small amount of venom into his hands causing the pain.
Venom is used by animals for offensive and defensive purposes. Some even use it in mating to subdue a rival such as the platypus. Others use it to subdue food.
Poisonous animals generally use their superpowers for a purely defensive purpose. Their outlook is “If you try to eat me, you’ll die.”
Knowing the difference is important, if for no other reason than it makes you feel superior to those who do not know the difference and gives you something to complain about in society. However, it is more important to know the various effects of the toxins once introduced into you system.