Poisonous? Really? Some Surprisingly Toxic Animals

Everyone knows scorpions are poisonous, but what about Slow Loris? Those cute and cuddly primates you see all over the web? The Stonefish is cool looking, but did you know it could pack a wollop? Keep your distance from all these critters, because these are some surprisingly toxic animals:

Stonefish

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Difficult to see, and easy to step on, these are the most venomous fish in the world. Their powerful neurotoxins are hidden in spines that line their dorsal fin. One wrong foot placement and that “rock” you rested your foot on will make you regret it (and it may end your life). They’re mostly marine, but can also be found in some rivers.

Slow Loris

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The Slow Loris is on the endangered list because they’re hunted for their giant, heart meltingly cute eyes, for use in traditional medicine. This makes me wish their toxins were a bit stronger. Unfortunately for the Slow Loris, they don’t have any hidden spines or powerful neurotoxins hidden up their sleeves; they have a toxin produced on the inside of their elbow that they will lick and then transfer onto their young. Similar to the toxin in cat dander, it causes bites from Slow Loris to swell painfully, but unless you’re allergic, you’ll be just fine. Their plan B when in danger? They fall to the ground and curl up into a fuzzy ball.

Komodo Dragon

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Able to grow to nearly 10 feet long and weigh up to 150 pounds, the Komodo Dragon doesn’t need venom to intimidate. This lizard does have a nasty surprise hiding in its rancid mouth, however: over 57 strains of bacteria that ensure even the mildest bite will result in a horrible infection. Komodo Dragons can sprint over 12 miles per hour, so I hope you’re faster than your friends.

Blue-ringed Octopus

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Blue-ringed Octopi are small and docile, whiling their time away eating shrimp and small crabs in tide pools, but if they feel threatened, their dull colors light up into a fantastic blue display. At 5-8 inches long, this Octopus may look harmless, but it contains a neurotoxin that has no available antivenom, and can kill a full grown adult within minutes. The venom targets motor function, causing paralysis in the lungs (and everywhere else), and ending with cardiac arrest due to lack of oxygen.

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