Special Sub-Topic: This'll Kill Ya!
|Which continent has more poisonous snakes than harmless ones?|
Australia. Over sixty percent of Australian snakes are poisonous.
|Which of the following is not a species of rattlesnake?|
Crotalus cubis. These three rattlesnakes are very similar in appearance and behaviour. Crotalus ruber (red diamondback rattlesnake) and Crotalus atrox (Western diamondback rattlesnake) can only be distinguished by their colour (red for crotalus ruber, of course). Crotalus scutulatus, the Mojave rattlesnake, is far more dangerous than the other two because its toxin has a worse effect on respiration than that of any other North American rattlesnakes. The Western diamondback is the most irritable.
|Which of these statements about the black mamba is not true?|
Its venom causes an abnormally slow heartbeat. Black mamba venom causes a wildly erratic heartbeat, muscle paralysis and respiratory arrest. The lethal dose for an average adult human is 15-20 mg, about two full drops of venom. Death occurs within about four hours, but people who have been successfully treated with anti-venin still should be closely monitored for possible delayed relapse.
|Worldwide, more people are killed by scorpion stings than by snake bites.|
t. The ratio may be as great as 10:1. About 50 of over 1500 scorpion species are dangerous to humans. Most deaths occur within the first 24 hours after the sting. Children and elderly people are at greater risk to succumb to the poison, which causes respiratory and cardiovascular failure.
|What lizard family includes poisonous species?|
Helodermatidae. The two species of Helodermatidae, the Gila monster and the beaded lizard, are the only two known venomous lizards in the world. They live in the southwestern US and Mexico. Unlike snakes, they don't inject their venom in a quick bite but must chew on their victim to release the poison. They are rarely dangerous to humans, but deaths have occurred. Although they are predators, their prey is usually small enough to be killed without poison, and the venom is thought to be for defensive purposes.
|Which of these fish has a venom as powerful as rattlesnake venom?|
Weeverfish. Most weeverfish live in deep water but some species are found buried just beneath the sand in shallow waters of the North Atlantic and Mediterranean, with their head and dorsals protruding. They are aggressive and may strike without warning. The sting from the dorsal fin produces instant excruciating pain which can cause unconsciousness and death by drowning or from the neurotoxins in the venom. The weeping toado is related to pufferfish, which are poisonous to eat.
|Which of these common meadow flowers is poisonous?|
Buttercup. Buttercups belong to the ranunculus family, which also includes baneberry and monkshood. Buttercup poison causes blistering of the skin and,if swallowed, of the mouth and digestive tract. Deaths are rare but vomiting and convulsions can occur and lead to choking and suffocation.
|Amanita phalloides, the death cap, is thought to be responsible for 90% of deaths by mushroom poisoning. Its poison is a kind of amatoxin. What is its major fatal effect on the human body?|
Liver and kidney failure. Although the initial symptoms are abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhea, the majority of deaths are due to irreversible liver and kidney damage. People who seem to have recovered from the initial symptoms can still die up to a week later.
|Digitalis purpurea or foxglove produces digitoxin, a powerful cardiac glycoside. Used in the proper dosage it strengthens the heart and helps it beat more effectively. Overdoses can be deadly. These properties have been known as early as 1500 BCE, but who is credited with introducing digitalis into the practice of medicine? |
William Withering. Withering lived in England from 1741 to 1799. He is credited with being the first physician to prescribe foxglove. His work "An account of the foxglove and some of its medical uses" was published in 1775. His monument in Birmingham bears the image of a foxglove.
|The Darwin Awards are given to those who "improve the human genome by accidentally killing themselves in really stupid ways". What did Wayne Roth do to get nominated for a Darwin Award in 1997?|
Went to the bar after being bitten by a cobra. "(November 1997, Pennsylvania) Wayne Roth, 38, of Pittston, was bitten by a cobra belonging to his friend, Roger Croteau, after playfully reaching into the tank and picking up the snake. Wayne subsequently refused to go to a hospital, telling Roger, 'I'm a man, I can handle it.' Instead of a hospital, Wayne reported to a bar. He had three drinks, and enjoyed bragging that he had just been bitten by a cobra. Cobra venom is a slow-acting central nervous system toxin. He died within a few hours, in Jenkins Township, Pennsylvania.
" From the official Darwin Awards site www.darwinawards.com //
Some people still believe that whiskey is an antidote for snakebite. Quite the contrary, it worsens the victim's condition since both snake venom and alcohol lower the blood pressure, increasing the danger of shock.
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