why do some arachnids/snakes e.t.c have such powerful venom?

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  • why do some arachnids/snakes e.t.c have such powerful venom?
  • brakes
    Member

    doesn’t a Daddy long legs have the most powerful venom, but without the means to deliver it?

    piemonster
    Member

    Video please?

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    live in a desert, potential meals only come around every now & then so you need to be sure to kill it quick

    live in a rainforest, food’s everywhere

    (or maybe if your prey is a lot faster than you, the bite has to kill it before it disappears from view)

    samuri
    Member

    Scardeyoants has it.
    It’s so you don’t have to create a lot of venom and the venom you do create clips your prey as quickly as possible.

    racefaceec90
    Member

    here you go piemonster 😉 [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syiFL0XdUi8[/video]

    edit ah that makes sense 🙂

    mikey74
    Member

    Isn’t the issue with sea snakes that A) they need to kill their prey very quickly before it swims or gets swept away and B) the water dilutes the venom a little so it needs to be ultra strong to achieve A.

    In general it depends on how big and how fast moving their prey is.

    In the jungle I guess there is always the option to form webs and to hoover up small, helpless creatures that fall from the treetops, so ultra-venom isn’t needed, unlike those in arid areas where the creatures are generally more elusive and could get quite a long way away after being bitten if the venom doesn’t stop them quickly.

    Just guessin’ 😀

    loddrik
    Member

    doesn’t a Daddy long legs have the most powerful venom, but without the means to deliver it?

    http://insects.about.com/od/noninsectarthropods/f/daddylongvenom.htm

    What about these things? There’s no need!

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKUVAOD0PnE[/video]

    boxfish
    Member

    Snail 1, Fish 0

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMOSvz5mThM[/video]

    piemonster
    Member

    Death in 15 minutes.

    Australia can get stuffed. The entire country is a death trap.

    mikey74
    Member

    A girl from work moved out their for a year or two last year. Anyway, she went to put on her trousers one day (or so the Facebook tale went) and felt a small bulge in one of the legs. She kicked them off in a mild panic only to find a black widow scuttle out, which she promptly squished out of existence.

    True story 8)

    roper
    Member

    venom is a very complex thing. The effects of the venom depends on what has been been envenomed. Humans have a complex nervous system which can cause all types of problems when reacting to certain venoms. Someone who has allergies to bee venom can have extreme reactions.
    As far as the reasons some animals have such strong venom compared to others depends on the complexities of the venom and how the person or thing reacts.
    Most animals which hunt, especially ones which use venom, like to use as little as possible and as fast as they can. That way they they don’t have to make more venom and waste nutrients have the least chance of becoming injured themselves. If a spider damages it’s fangs it will have little defence and would not be able to feed.
    This is probably why some animals like king cobras and even scorpions can fire venom. Envenomating without contact.

    Edit- one of the videos above said funnel webs only live in Oz. That’s not true.

    racefaceec90
    Member

    have just been looking at sydney funnel web spider video.they are pretty amazing (and damn scary) spiders.it got me thinking though (a rare occurrence 😉 why have some creatures evolved venom that is so much stronger than other creatures.from my limited knowledge there isn’t a spider in the rainforests that have as deadly a venom as the funnel web.you would think that would be the place where spiders would evolve a super venom?

    same with the coral sea snake.by all account’s it has the most venomous bite of any creature (apologies if i have got it wrong).but it’s venom comes from it’s back teeth.

    it just seems strange to me that creatures you would expect to need hugely toxic venom (for where they live/what prey they stalk e.t.c) doesn’t,but others have a very venomous bite (that you wouldn’t think needed such venom.)
    evolution is a marvelous but sometimes strange mistress 🙂

    TuckerUK
    Member

    doesn’t a Daddy long legs have the most powerful venom, but without the means to deliver it?

    I’m guessing neither of you are native to our shores.

    The ‘daddy long legs’ is a harmless crane fly in he UK.

    racefaceec90
    Member

    roper that makes a lot of sense also :-)i know that you have seen funnel webs around where you live (from reading some of your previous spider threads).do you think that they came over as stowaways (in fruit e.t.c on boats) or do we have native funnel web’s here? tbh am not worried (too much)but it will make me go faster on the bike 🙂

    p.s i could swear that i saw a program where they mentioned that the duck billed platypus of all creatures has poisonous barbs on it’s rear feet (they so far didn’t know why?). ah here we are http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platypus_venom

    roper
    Member

    The Mediterranean funnel web appears to be quite habitat specific. They are terrestrial and prefer to stay near their web. They also only eat small insects so tend to keep away from humans when they can. Saying that, with climate change you never know where they might appear. 🙂
    Their venom is much milder than their cousins so you would be ok. I have read the Japanese funnel web has quite a harsh venom.

    mightymule
    Member

    It has recently been discovered that the largest venomous animal in the world is the Komodo Dragon.
    They have such a slow-acting venom that it was previously thought that deaths from bites occurred a a result of septicaemia due the the cocktail of bacteria in their saliva, however it has now been found that they do, in fact, have venom glands and grooved teeth to deliver it.

    Personally I think that’s overkill – they are big enough buggers anyway!

    CountZero
    Member

    The sheer number of small things that wish to kill you with extreme predjudice in Australia fills me with the overwhelming desire to avoid visiting there at all costs. The spiders, the snakes, the crocs, the sharks, the jellyfish… 😯

    user-removed
    Member

    Piemonster and CZ +1. And I remember seeing a video in which a lass pulls down the sun visor in her car causing a huge wolf spider (harmless but horrible) to fall onto her face and she crashes the car!

    The fat, matchbox sized spiders in my garage freak me out, so Oz is a no-go zone for me.

    jools182
    Member

    piemonster – MemberDeath in 15 minutes.Australia can get stuffed. The entire country is a death trap.

    My sentiments exactly

    Ridiculous wildlife

    I was nervous over there even walking near grass

    user-removed
    Member

    Went swimming in Malaysia and almost immediately got stung by several bloody jellyfish with metre-long tentacles. Both legs swelled up, huge raised, red welts, felt sick and dizzy for ages. Stung like Hell.

    I’d still prefer that to a spider in the face though.

    psychle
    Member

    Death in 15 minutes.

    Australia can get stuffed. The entire country is a death trap.

    Piemonster and CZ +1. And I remember seeing a video in which a lass pulls down the sun visor in her car causing a huge wolf spider (harmless but horrible) to fall onto her face and she crashes the car!

    The fat, matchbox sized spiders in my garage freak me out, so Oz is a no-go zone for me.

    Ridiculous wildlife

    I was nervous over there even walking near grass

    Sheesh, what a bunch of nancy boy pansies! I live in North Queensland where, if the spiders/snakes/crocs/jellyfish/cone shells/stone fish/sharks/barracuda etc. etc. etc. don’t get you, then the mosquitoes/flying foxes/tropical soil/weather probably will! Lovely place to live and bring up kids, keeps ’em on their toes! 😀

    zebidybob
    Member

    http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/videos/daddy-longlegs-minimyth.htm

    I’m guessing neither of you are native to our shores.

    The ‘daddy long legs’ is a harmless crane fly in he UK.

    I’m from the UK but I assume this is what is meant in the USA

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