Most people think when they hear terms like venomous and poisonous that they are the same thing. This is especially true when one is talking about snakes. They hear venomous snake or poisonous snake and they think that if the reptile is classified as one that it is very much the same as the other. This is not the case. These are actually two different kinds of snakes.
Start with an Important Reality
While these two reptiles are different, you should not make any mistakes about the fact that both of these are quite dangerous to say the least. If they bite you then you are going to be in serious trouble, so don’t think that one is any safer than the other.
What Is a Poisonous Snake?
The difference between the two types of snakes relates directly to the chemicals that they release and how it is taken into the animal that they attack. To understand this, one must grasp what a poison is and how it differs from that of “venom.”
A poison is something that is absorbed through the epithelial lining of the organism. Once this occurs, the substance is able to cause a wide array of effects that can be quite detrimental. Those effects relate directly to what the chemicals are that are in the system, but the most common types usually effect the heart and respiratory systems.
What this means is that for a snake to be classified as poisonous, this usually means that the substance must be something that is ingested or absorbed by the victim, and thus this causes the victim to become ill or even die. Most people who are killed are poisonous snakes die because they have eaten the snake. Since they do not have a specific means to transfer the poison from themselves to their intended victim, this comes passively, often by the victim making the mistake of eating the snake without removing the poison or cooking it properly. Many animals die from eating poisonous snakes.
So What Is a Venomous Snake?
What makes a venomous snake different than a poisonous one is that it has a method of injecting the poison directly into the victim so that it will become sick and even die. A rattle snake is a common type of venomous snake, where it bites its victim and injects the poison into the body of the animal it has bitten.
The venomous snake can inject four types of compounds into the victim. The two most common are neurotoxins (affecting the nervous system, most often completely paralyzing the victim), and cardiotoxins (affecting the heart). While there are other kinds of toxins, including cytotoxins and haemotoxins, these are the most commonly found in venomous snakes.
Read more: Snake Control
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