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Toxic Beauties

Published September 12th, 2012

I`m fascinated by all kinds of Animals using Poison to hunt prey and/or defend themselves. So every time I´m traveling around I´m trying to find some of the "Toxic Beauties"...and luckily I was able to took some great Pictures without getting tainted.

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti)

Found this little Cottonmouth snake while driving throug the Everglades National Park. It was just a baby, but anyways, the poison is just as deadly as mommy`s!
Fortunately the Snake was very relaxed and shows no aggressions at all, so I was able to lay down right in front of it and take pictures right on eye level.

To an human, the toxic of the Cottonmouth mostly isn`t deadly. What it does is destroying the tissue around the bite and slow down the clotting of blood. So what easily could happen is loosing extremities and feeling horrible pain.

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti)

Splash backed Poison Frog (Dendrobates galactonotus)

Jet another poisonous animal. Event though it isnt able to produce poison, its skin is extremely toxic to other Animals. The frog reaches this by eating poisonous insects and saving their toxic under the skin.

The flashing colouration of the animal shows predators, that this could be their last meal. Many animals use this "teknic" to give warnig of their poison. That`s why poisonous animals mostly look extremely nice to humans.
Some other animals use the flashing colouration to act as if they`re poisonous. Thats called a "mimicry".

The nice colouration yield to the Frog even though. Humans like it so much, they keep this animals as pats. In captivity the frog looses his poison because it`s not able to eat the insects it needs. In addition, the species status is "endangered" by now.

  • Canon PowerShot G7
  • 7.4mm / f/2.8 / 1/60 sec

Western Diamondback (Crotalus atrox)

Found this huge 5 feet Western Diamondback on our way to "Biosphere 2" on the side of Biosphere Rd. near Tucson, Arizona.

Different from the Cottonmouth, this Snake seems to have had an bad day. She was in her striking position and this means, the full length of the Snake is "Striking-Zone". Knowing, my Canons 70-200 L closest focusing distance is 5 feet I knew, as long as the head is in Focus, I´m unreachable for the Snake.
After a little while at least the bloodcurdling rattling stoped and there was my chance to face the Animal on eye level. The first picture you can see here and from there the situation was relaxing a little.

As it`s possible to count the single parts of the rattle to know how old an snake is, I know that it was an 8 jear old.The Venom of an Western Diamondback is proteolytic. Proteolytic venoms are, in fact, advanced and concentrated fluids that destroy tissues and other cells through intramolecular digestion.

The venom of this species is primarily hemotoxic, affecting mainly the body's blood vessels, blood cells and the heart.General local effects include pain, bleeding, severe swelling, bruising, blistering, and necrosis. permanent tissue loss after bites from this species are common.
The Venom of an Western Diamondback is proteolytic. Proteolytic venoms are, in fact, advanced and concentrated fluids that destroy tissues and other cells through intramolecular digestion. The venom of this species is primarily hemotoxic, affecting mainly the body's blood vessels, blood cells and the heart.General local effects include pain, bleeding, severe swelling, bruising, blistering, and necrosis. permanent tissue loss after bites from this species are common.

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)

Sea Nettle (Chrysaora melanaster)

This I guess, is one of the most common toxic Jellyfish in the World. It belongs to the family of Pelagiidae and you can find the "familymembers" in nearly every ocean of the World.

The Venom of this animal is not to toxic. But a sting of it hurts like hell and leaves terrible marks on the skin of the victim.

  • October 1st, 2009
  • Canon PowerShot G7
  • 7.4mm / f/2.8 / 1/15 sec

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