Teacher’s Questions for Venomous Animals
- List three animals that use venom, a family of poisons. How does each animal deliver its venom?
- How do most venomous reptiles deliver their venom? Name the telltale feature through which venom typically passes into unlucky victims.
- Where is venom stored in a Komodo dragon? How does venom pass from this body part into another animal?
- For what purpose do Komodo dragons use their venom?
- What is a toxin?
- What type of toxin is found in hooded pitohuis? In what other animal is this toxin found?
- Where is this toxin found in hooded pitohuis?
- What effect does the toxin have on animals that eat these birds?
- How do hooded pitohuis (and several other venomous animals) acquire this toxin?
- From where does the African crested rat get its venom?
- From where does a male platypus get its venom, and how is it delivered to the animal’s victim?
- Who is the intended victim, and what advantage does the male platypus get from using this poison?
- What do toxins mimic in the body?
- Give two specific examples of how toxins disrupt biological processes.
- Name one kind of venom that scientists are exploring for medicinal use — and for what medical condition.
- Name one kind of medicine that is based on a venom and already widely used. What does it treat, and how?
- Which animal were you most surprised to learn is venomous? Why?
- Do you think society should try to protect venomous creatures — even those that are deadly to humans — whose toxins could be used for medicinal purposes? Give at least two reasons for your decision.