Science and nature cartoonist Rosemary Mosco's latest webcomic explains the difference between venomous and poisonous in just half a dozen panels (fewer, if you count the intro and the kicker), which makes it as pithily informative as it is charming.
Venom can turn a seemingly weak and tiny creature into a feared killer. But what, exactly, does it mean for an animal to be "venomous"? And which venomous species are the most deadly to humans? Here's what we know.
The humpback whale is one of Earth's largest creatures, with an average weight of around 40 tons. But as it turns out, this gigantic creature is vulnerable to the toxins of a much smaller living thing: Aconitum delphinifolium, better known as Larkspur monkshood.
Venomous vipers like rattlesnakes evolved their deadly toxins incredibly quickly. Scientists had long assumed it was so that they could hunt their prey better, but it might have been to fight off their deadliest predator: the possum.
Sure, spider venom can kill humans. But, if you know what you're doing, it can offer revolutionary cures and treatments for some of humanity's worst ailments. It's already curing impotence...and now help with heart failure, high blood pressure, and epilepsy.