List of Venomous Mammals

Save

Venomous snakes, lizards, spiders and other insects are something most people know about and understand. Avoiding certain types of these animals makes sense for safety's sake, but being careful with some mammals may seem strange. Not everyone knows that a few of the world's small mammals produce and use venom to catch and kill their prey.

Northern Short-tailed Shrew

  • The northern short-tailed shrew is one of a few shrew species that produces venom. They grow to about 5 inches in length from nose to tail and weigh around an ounce. Often gray in color with short legs and a pointed snout, they appear commonly in America's eastern and central states. They are ferocious hunters, using a paralyzing venom to subdue larger prey such as amphibians, small birds and other shrew species. The venom is produced in the mouth, but unlike snakes who can inject in one bite, the shrew has to chew the toxin into the prey.

Haitian Solenodon

  • The Haitian solenodon is a shrew-like animal but is much larger, reaching lengths of 13 inches and weighing upwards of 2 lbs. With a rat-like body and a shrew-like pointed snout, they look unusual and live mainly in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Feeding mainly on insects, the species uses a paralyzing toxin produced in its saliva to subdue its prey with a single bite. It is not considered harmful to humans and is in fact a rare animal listed as endangered.

Platypus

  • The platypus is an animal so strange that when it was first discovered some scientists were sure it was a hoax. Described as a cross between a duck, a beaver and an otter, the animal is native to eastern Australia. About 15 inches long and weighing up to 3 lbs., it has a duck-billed mouth with webbed feet and a furry, elongated body. It is also one of only two mammals that lays eggs. Not used for hunting, the venom is produced in males at the base of spurs on their back legs. It is used as a defense, delivering a painful sting to predators.

Loris

  • The loris is the only venomous primate and comes in several types including gray, red and pygmy. With long, slender limbs they move slowly through the branches of trees and have large, round eyes and a flat face. They have a slow metabolism which allows them to digest things unpalatable to other animals, such as tree gum. They mainly eat insects which they grab quickly from the air. A venom is produced on the elbows of the loris' arms which it can take into its mouth to be used as a defense against predators. The loris will try to bite attackers with this painful toxin.

References

  • Photo Credit Anup Shah/Photodisc/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • Diet of King Cobras

    Largest of the venomous snakes, the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is native to South and Southeast Asia, from the lowlands of Nepal...

  • How to Distinguish Different Types of Spiders

    It's good to know if a spider in your home is poisonous. However, some nonpoisonous spiders have physical characteristics that are similar...

  • The Effects of Platypus Venom

    The platypus is a very unusual mammal. It is one of the few mammals that lays eggs rather than giving birth to...

  • Rattlesnake Venom Facts

    Found in many areas of the United States, rattlesnakes rely on highly toxic venom to capture and subdue prey. Although rattlesnakes tend...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make an Elevated Dog Feeder

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!