The “Master of Detoxification” in Nature

  For animals, what other weapon can be more effective than venom? With the help of venom, those predators with venom, such as snakes, scorpions, and jellyfish, can not only easily subdue prey of the same size or other competitors, but also solve animals that are much larger than them. However, these poisons are not invincible. Their venom affects some animals as if electric current meets rubber, with little effect. Before we learn more about the animals that are not afraid of venom, let’s first understand the characteristics of venom. Perhaps in this way, we can know that “anti-drug” is actually a very remarkable ability.
  Venom toxin is a large family of
  Nature has over 600 kinds of snakes, scorpions and many other 25 kinds of poisons, but their venom can be divided into four kinds of toxins. The four toxins are: necrotic toxin, muscle toxin, cytotoxin and neurotoxin.
  Necrotoxin is a toxin that can cause abnormal cell death. However, since it only acts on the skin tissue near the venom injection, necrotoxin is rarely life-threatening. Even in those fatal cases related to necrotic toxins, the cause of death is more likely to be allergies, infections, or others caused by tissue necrosis. The toxin of the brown shadow retreat spider that is mistaken for poisoning humans belongs to necrotic toxin. If a person is bitten by the brown shadow retreat spider and the toxin is injected, the bitten area will form gangrene and become infected. If no surgery is performed There is a greater risk of death.
  Muscle toxins are widespread among predators such as snakes and lizards. This toxin can act quickly, making the prey instantly paralyzed and unable to escape. If the dose is sufficient, the toxin can even paralyze the pectoralis muscle, causing the prey to suffocate.
  Cytotoxin is a very dangerous toxin, and it can also kill cells. Unlike necrotoxin, it can flow with the blood and has its own target. For example, the cardiotoxin in the cytotoxin can destroy the heart muscle cells, thereby preventing the heart muscle from contracting, causing the heart to beat or even stop; another example is the blood toxin, which can destroy red blood cells and cause blood clotting. , Making blood unable to flow, leading to death.
  Neurotoxins are arguably one of the most deadly toxins. This toxin directly acts on the brain nerves, causing nervous system dysfunction and even paralysis. There are many kinds of neurotoxins, and their damage to the nervous system is selective. For example, α-neurotoxin mainly acts on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. This neurotoxin can mimic the shape of acetylcholine molecules (acetylcholine is an extremely important neurotransmitter with important functions such as information transmission, arousal, attention and learning), Then “occupied” the receptor that should belong to acetylcholine, making acetylcholine unable to flow, thereby paralyzing the nerve; another example is that dendritic toxins can directly prevent neurons from performing normal positive and negative ion exchange through the cell membrane, inhibiting the transmission of neuronal information, and thus make nerves paralysis.
  After having some understanding of venom, I have to mention the master of venom-snake. The venom of some animals often contains only one or two toxins, while the venom of snakes contains at least three toxins. Below these three toxins, there are even many kinds of “subtoxins”, among which there are too many deadly toxins. It is difficult to “prescribe the right medicine”, which is why snake venom is still a very difficult problem for doctors. Therefore, for the following animals that are not afraid of venom, the article will mainly show their immunity to snake venom to show their high anti-venom ability.
  With a strong ability to look at cute
  mongoose is a long face and body are some of the mammals, body length of 24 to 58 cm, it is small, round ears, short limbs. Different mongooses have different colors, some are brown, some are gray, and some are even orange… The mongoose was originally a species of Southern Europe, Africa and Asia, and now it has “run” all over the world. The mongoose not only wears a thick skin that is difficult to be bitten by a snake, it also has a genetically mutated acetylcholine receptor. This acetylcholine receptor can recognize the alpha-neurotoxin “impersonating” acetylcholine and only binds to real acetylcholine. , So as to achieve the purpose of anti-snake venom. These two weapons allow the mongoose to fear most venomous snakes, even cobras.
  Another cute anti-venom animal is a rodent called the grasshopper. The grasshopper is a unique animal in North America, with a body length of 8.9 to 12.7 cm and a tail length of 2.5 to 6.4 cm. Grasshoppers not only feed on insects such as grasshoppers, but also spiders, scorpions, and even other rodents. The venom of a scorpion is also a mixture of multiple toxins. It destroys the animal’s sensory system and causes great pain. But the grasshopper’s sensory neurons have evolved in the survival competition with the scorpion, and can secrete a special protein that can “shield” the scorpion venom from the sensory neurons, thereby protecting the neurons from the venom. Of violations. And this protein has a powerful analgesic effect, so that when the grasshopper is bitten by a scorpion, it hardly feels any pain.
  In North America, there is another animal that is not afraid of snake venom, that is, the Virginia possum, also called the North American possum. The North American possum has a body length of 35 to 94 cm and a tail length of 22 to 47 cm. It is an omnivorous animal that not only feeds on fruits, grains and carrion, but also eats insects, snakes and birds as food. The snake is no exception even if it is a poisonous snake. The North American opossum has a series of amino acids that can neutralize snake venom, and this process occurs directly during the transport of snake venom in the blood. Scientists recently discovered that the neutralized venom actually became the nutrition of North American possums.
  In addition to the above-mentioned animals, there are also honey badger (nicknamed “Flathead”), clownfish and king snakes, all of which are not afraid of venom.
  Eel and leatherback sea turtles
  have anti-venom animals on land, the oceans are not much better.
  Sea snakes are no less toxic than snakes on land. The sea snake venom is composed of neurotoxin, muscle toxin and nephrotoxin. However, just like on land, there are always marine animals that are not afraid of snake venom, including eels. Eels are slender and often mistaken for sea snakes. In fact, eels are often the “goodies” of some sea snakes. Fortunately, eels are highly resistant to the venom of these sea snakes. Scientists have concluded through controlled experiments that this is probably the result of eel adaptation, because eels only have better tolerance to the venom of sea snakes that feed on eels.
  When we come to the sea, we have to mention another highly poisonous animal-box jellyfish. The box jellyfish is called “the most poisonous creature in the world.” There are about 5000 “small venomous spines” on each tentacles of the box jellyfish. The small venomous spines contain neurotoxins. People who are stung by the box jellyfish will feel it To sting, if the dose of toxin is sufficient, the stinged person will die of heart failure. However, leatherback turtles that feed exclusively on box jellyfish are not afraid of their toxins.
  Leatherback turtles are taking the path of “physical anti-drug”. Leatherback sea turtles are not only thick and thick, and the stings of box jellyfish cannot penetrate, but also the esophagus and stomach of leatherback sea turtles are covered with membranes and bumps formed by keratin (our nails are formed by keratin) , Which makes the box jellyfish unable to cause damage to leatherback turtles until the moment it is digested.

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