Poison or Venom: Find is the difference

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Biologically speaking poisonous animal and venomous animal is not the same thing. Though both of them contains dangerous amount of toxins, the basic difference between the two lies is the delivery mode. The venomous animals refer to those who can actively deliver the toxin in to the victim’s body whereas the poisonous animals can not perform this due to lack of delivery mechanism. You will only get the toxin only if you touch, smell or eat them. Poison also tends to spread over a larger area or the body whereas venom is typically produced and stored in a particular place of the body. A venom gland is generally present in venomous animals where the toxins get stored till it needed.

difference between poison and venom

The toxin present in both poisonous and venomous animals consists mainly of protein and other neurotransmitters. Depending on their way of work toxins can be broadly classified in two groups:

1.    Hemotoxin: it affects the blood cells and related organs. It can destroy RBC (RBC delivers oxygen through out the body), disrupt blood clotting and can even result in organ failure. The process of death in this type of venom is generally slower than the neurotoxins. Pit viper is one of the snakes which release this type of toxin.

2.    Neurotoxin: Neurotoxin on the other hand attacks the cells of the nervous system. It causes paralysis, respiratory failure and muscular contraction. The death of the victim occurs very quickly if it is injected with neurotoxin. Cobras are typical example of snakes which posses this type of toxin.

Many animals in the animal kingdom are considered poisonous or venomous.

Snakes (not all of them are venomous. Know more about snake by clicking here) such as cobra, rattlesnake, some octopus, lizards, bees, spiders, frogs etc are few of the examples.

So remember this, the next time you say a snake is poisonous you actually mean that the snake has toxin spread over its body and touching it can cause poisoning; which may not be the case in most of the time.

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