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Animal Life

What is the difference between poisonous and venomous?


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May 27, 2012 11:34PM

Toxin - any substance that can cause harm

Poison - a toxin that causes its effect through ingestion or absorption

Venom - a toxin that causes its effect through administration via a specialized delivery system.

A good example is tetrodotoxin, a toxin that can be a poison or venom. It is a poison in puffer fish, causing its effect when tissues from this fish are eaten. It is venom in the blue-ringed octopus, being stored in salivary glands and delivered into a wound caused by the beak of the octopus.

Thus, snakes are venomous since the toxin is delivered via specialized apparatus while poison arrow frogs are poisonous since the toxin is absorbed.

Venoumous is a poison that hurts you.

Poisionous means that it could be poisonius but not enough to kill you.