Venom Overview

Reptile TalksVenom Overview is a general look at venom in where I explain the difference between venom and poison. Anyone who speaks with me for any length of time in regards to snakes will usually ask many questions about habitat, care, personal experience, etc. inevitably the conversation turns to one of my favorite subjects; venom.

First of all, I must begin by explaining that venom is not poison and vice versa. While venom and poison may have some similar effects on the human body and may even share some similar properties; by definition they are two completely different substances.

Poison by definition is a substance which is inhaled, ingested, or absorbed in some way. It doesn’t have to kill you; it may make you sick or may have no effect at all.

Venom is a toxin which is injected by another animal via a stinger, fang, tentacle, etc. once again some may kill you and although rare there are folks out there that are immune to certain venoms. Now with the information above we can see that there are no such things as poisonous snakes (as is often misreported), spiders, scorpions, or centipedes. All of these creatures are capable of producing venom. However, most spiders are so small that their fangs can not penetrate human skin. Also the larger the pincers on a scorpion the less potent the venom.

If you plan to keep ANY venomous pet then we recommend reading this first. Venom in Captivity

See Bryan D Hughes Guest Post on Rattlesnakes in Captivity