Why don’t poisonous animals poison themselves? - Rebecca D. Tarvin
- 1,819,385 Views
- 6,530 Questions Answered
- TEDEd Animation
Humans also use certain alkaloids and other neurotoxins as insecticides. Just like poisonous animals resist their own poisons, insects can evolve resistance to insecticides. This is an active area of research for scientists that work in agriculture.
Many poisonous animals have bright colors to ward off their enemies. Together with chemical defense this anti-predator approach is known as aposematism. Colorful markings help potential predators recognize risky prey and prevents experienced predators from making the same mistake twice. Check out these videos of aposematic animals.
The golden poison frog (Phyllobates terribilis) is potentially the most toxic animal in the world—at least for its small size. Some indigenous groups in Colombia continue to use the frog's secretions to poison their hunting darts.
The cone snail is another famous poisonous animal. Watch a video of it harpooning its fish prey here.
Snakes may be menacing predators, but the mongoose resists even the king cobra's venom. Watch them face off here.
Create and share a new lesson based on this one.