Zoology

The Planets most Unexpectedly Deadly Creatures



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Among the millions of different animal species in the world, there are those that unfortunately are deadly to other living beings, whether it’s in self-defense or methods of getting prey. Some of these killer animals may not be what is expected. Some are the most seemingly harmless creatures or of a small, innocent-looking size. 

The Bottlenose dolphin, to most, is seen as a playful, friendly aquatic mammal. It’s hard to think of these frisky water mammals as killers, but in rare cases they have been known to attack. It is suspected that in cases of violence, males in shallow water may be attracted by strong hormones released by human females. If they want to attack they do major damage, using their beaks to beat victims and sharp teeth to slash flesh. Regardless of the sociable association they often have with humans, they can scare off sharks and be quite vicious when necessary.

One of the cutest animals to fall in the category of the planet’s unexpectedly deadly creatures is the Slow Loris. This certainly is not a scary sounding name, but this small primate from Asia despite its appearance and low speed, is deadly because of toxins it emits from the elbows. As one of the few poisonous mammals, it will put the toxins in its mouth if readying for a bite attack when threatened. When unable to attack it may lick or rub the toxins around to cover its fur to deter anything from coming after it. This poison in humans can result in death from anaphylactic shock.

The Cassowary, a bird many haven’t even heard of, is found in rain forests of Australia and New Guinea. Some are kept at zoos and are much like an ostrich, but more exotic looking with a bright blue head and neck. These large flightless birds are quite aggressive if something invades territory. Just like the ostrich, these birds are extremely fast and no person can outrun them. They also have a magnificent leaping ability as well as claws to disembowel victims. Because of being quite territorial, they easily become agitated when bothered, but otherwise they try to keep to themselves. If one was to run into a Cassowary on their turf, that person would not likely survive.

A small narrow mouth is a defining feature of the Giant Anteater found in Central and South America. These odd looking mammals often only eat ants and termites with their long sticky tongue and no teeth, not appearing to be a threat to anyone. However, these large unique animals have extremely long, four-inch claws that can kill a human in one swipe. If their territory is invaded they will attack, often taking on jaguars and pumas and winning. A human certainly would not want to irritate a Giant Anteater.

Poison dart frogs as the name implies are known to be poisonous, however most don’t realize how much so. The name of this little frog derived from people dipping tips of blow-darts in the poison it secretes on the surface of the skin and using it to hunt and defend their land from others. They are very small colorful frogs, but despite this the golden poison dart frog contains enough poison to kill 10 to 20 men. The amount of poison that would fit on a pinhead is enough to stop the heart of a large animal and there is no antivenin.

The puffer fish is actually known as one of the most poisonous vertebrates in the world. This fish, which often appears to be smiling, comes from oceans all along the equator and contains tetrodotoxin poison that is deadly to humans. There is no cure once this poison in the body, quickly paralyzing the diaphragm, resulting in suffocation. Many people do eat these fish as a delicacy but if the fish is not prepared properly it can still kill a human easily.

The Blue-ringed octopus is a beautiful cephalopod about the size of a golf ball found in the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Australia. Though normally harmless, one may very well bite if stepped on. This small animal’s venom contains both maculotoxin as well as tetrodotoxin enough venom to kill 26 full grown adults and there is no antivenin. Within minutes a person will become paralyzed and unable to breathe, though they may remain conscious for a few hours. As long as respirations are given immediately and continued for 24 hours it is possible for a human to recover, but not always.

Who’s afraid of the big bad…snail? Another oceanic creature that is not often know to be deadly is the Cone Snail, sometimes called the “cigarette snail” as many say you have only have enough time to smoke a cigarette before you drop dead. Inserting a harpoon-like tooth, this large snail injects its victims with paralyzing venom. This venom can easily cause death with enough potency to kill 20 humans with a single drop and there is no antivenin.

Sometimes size or appearance truly doesn’t matter when looking at lethal animals. While most know that mosquitoes are annoying, some don’t realize they come in at the top as the most deadly animal. Not only do mosquitoes buzz around many parts of the world, but they transmit disease to almost 700 million people yearly. The disease they spread kills roughly 2 or 3 million people every year. No other animal on the planet kills that many humans nor can spread death to so many.

On a planet where there is such diversity in living beings, it is often the least suspecting that can be the deadliest. Creatures of all species develop mechanisms to defend themselves as well as capture food. It is important to realize that some are hidden better than others and to never mess with any wild regardless of appearance.

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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.womansday.com/life/10-surprisingly-lethal-animals-108208
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://members.optusnet.com.au/~alreadman/casso.htm
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-ringed_octopus
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://list25.com/the-25-most-dangerous-animals-in-the-world/