Killing you with poison, not sepsis

By Razib Khan | May 18, 2009 10:12 pm

Ed Yong has an excellent review of new research which casts substantial doubt on the trivia chestnut that Komodo dragons kill their prey with their extremely pathogen rich saliva. The more prosaic answer seems to be that they utilize poison, not particularly surprising or trivia worthy for a reptile. But the truth is not always sexy.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Ecology, Evolution
  • cm

    It’s unclear to me whether this substance should be called a “poison” as you have called it, or a “venom”. Usually poison refers to a toxin taken through eating or drinking, whereas venom is associated with a bite. But then again, venom is usually injected, and here it seems the toxin is kind of just introduced into a tear-wound via contact with the mouth.
    So it’s a bit of both?

  • windy

    “The more prosaic answer seems to be that they utilize poison, not particularly surprising or trivia worthy for a reptile.”
    Pretty large for a venomous reptile, though. That’s always trivia-worthy. (heaviest, but not the longest)

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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

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