Difference Between Venom And Poison

Most people are not aware of the differences between venom and poison. But they are not the same thing. They both are toxic substances but are delivered to the victims in different ways. They are biologically produced chemicals that affect the normal functioning of an organism.

Poison enters the body by swallowing, inhaling, or absorption through the skin. Venom is injected through bite or sting. Basically, if a person bites an organism and dies, the organism is poisonous. However, if an organism bites a person and he dies, the organism is venomous. Let us have a look at the remarkable differences between venom and poison exhibited by various animals.

Also read: Reptilia

Difference Between Venom And Poison
Venom Poison
Enters the body through bites and stings. Enters into the body by swallowing, inhaling, or absorption through the skin.
It is secreted by the fangs, teeth, or spiny protrusions on the body. It is secreted by the skin.
It is introduced into an organism through a bite or a sting. It is secreted as a result of being touched, disturbed, or eaten.
Venom is used primarily to kill or stun prey. Poison is secreted to deter a potential predator
The black mamba is an example of a venomous animal. The Dart frog is an example of a poisonous animal.

Venomous and Poisonous Animals

Venomous Animals

  • Most snakes and almost all spiders are venomous.
  • Some lizards are also considered venomous. The venom of the lizards can be mild or strong. The venom in Gila monster and Iguana is relatively mild compared to the mixture of toxins and bacteria injected by the Komodo dragon.
  • Bees, ants, and wasps do not contain fangs but are considered venomous.
  • The male platypus has a fang-like structure on the inner side of each ankle attached to a venom gland.
  • Jellyfish have nematocytes which contain toxins to drive away predators or stun prey.
  • King cobra is the longest venomous snake in the world and it injects venom powerful enough to kill animals as large as an elephant.

However, not all snakes inject their venom while biting. 20% of the bites by the snakes are dry bites.

Poisonous Animals

  • The amphibians such as frogs, toads, and salamanders are animals that contain poison. Dart frogs are the most poisonous frogs in the world. Their skin contains toxins designed to deter predators.
  • The liver, kidney, and spikes of a pufferfish contain nerve toxins harmful to humans.
  • Sometimes, poisons such as hydrogen sulphide can be used in research, such as inducing suspended animation-like states in mice for various tests.

Also read: Suspended Animation
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Frequently Asked Questions


How is venom different from poison?

Venom is injected by a snake’s bite or a bee’s sting, while poison is the toxin secreted through the skin. Dart frogs are the most poisonous animals on earth.


Which animal venom kills the fastest?

Black mamba’s venom kills the fastest. It moves at a speed of 12.5 miles per hour and it can kill a human in less than 30 minutes.


Which mammal is poisonous?

Mammals are rarely poisonous. Mammalian poisons are found in three groups of animals: Eulipotyphla, Monotremata, and Chiroptera.


Which is the deadliest of all snakes?

The saw-scaled viper is the deadliest of all snakes. It is an aggressive animal and bites early and often. It is responsible for more human deaths than any other snake.


Which is the most poisonous sea creature?

The Australian box jellyfish is the most poisonous sea creature on earth. Chironex fleckeri is the largest of all jellyfishes and has a body size up to one foot in diameter.

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