Skip to main content

Poison vs. venom: What's the difference? - Rose Eveleth

3,069,274 Views

5,667 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

Would you rather be bitten by a venomous rattlesnake or touch a poisonous dart frog? While both of these animals are capable of doing some serious damage to the human body, they deliver their dangerous toxins in different ways. Rose Eveleth sheds light on the distinction between poison and venom (and why you shouldn't treat either one like you've seen in the movies).

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Tetrodotoxin is an extremely potent poison (toxin) found mainly in the liver and sex organs (gonads) of some fish, such as puffer fish, globefish, and toadfish (order Tetraodontiformes) and in some amphibian, octopus, and shellfish species. Human poisonings occur when the flesh and/or organs of the fish are improperly prepared and eaten. Tetrodotoxin interferes with the transmission of signals from nerves to muscles and causes an increasing paralysis of the muscles of the body. Tetrodotoxin poisoning can be fatal.
'
Here's a list of poisonous animals. Here's a list of venomous animals.

As a Canadian-Australian, I have always wondered why it is that Australia has so many venomous animals that can kill you while Canada has virtually none. But it's not just Australia - it seems like all beautiful, warm places are cursed with venomous native species. So I set out to find the truth: why have all these venomous species evolved in the world's best holiday destinations?

Why Do Venomous Animals Live In Warm Climates?

Next Section »

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Rose Eveleth
  • Director Franz Palomares
  • Animation Artist Celeste Lai
  • Narrator Rose Eveleth

More from Awesome Nature