Venoms - food for thought

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Aug 8, 2005
How deadly / toxic / efficient as a refrigerant / good at mowing the lawn is X venom?

This is irrelevant. We can blame the scientific community and their LD 50 tests for some of this meaningless noise.
This is not seeing the forest for the trees all over again. What is deadlier, Latro or Sicarius or Phoneutria or ... ?

It's all about environment and the animal acquiring food. What is deadlier, the saw scale viper or the saw scale viper? In one locale it packs a hematotoxin, in another, a neurotoxin predominates. Environment and the adaptation through eons of evolution, producing the diversity of these toxins.

This is a field not well understood where mom nature is constantly throwing curve balls. The variation between the LD50 of Geometricus and Hesperus reflects tens of thousands of years of slightly different environments while they both, in all probability, evolved from the same ancestor.

In some cases, like Sicarius, the adaptation is glaringly obvious. Ultra hostile environment where the animal may catch prey only a few times each year. Take it down FAST and the extreme of effective. Slide to the other end of the scale with a pholcid that encounters a couple dozen major meals a day and may have to bite the prey over 100 times to get the point across.

So when you get to thinking about how bad arse this or that venom is, open your world a little and reflect on the why. A window into the distant past and the nearly infinite environmental conditions that made the venom that we encounter today.