Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Most Poisonous Species
Name: Jason T.
Status: student
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999-2001


Question:
What is the most poisonous species known to man (in terms of venom potency)? I was told it was a certain amphibian but I believe that ocean snakes are the most poisonous. Thank you for your help.


Replies:
This is not so easy to answer -- because dead is dead -- no matter how many times over!!! What I mean is: "What is the criterion?"

It is important to specify what type of species -- land snake, sea snake, jelly fish, spider, fish, insect, or microbe?

LD50 is a common test, but only a test, because it depends on which animal and it doesn't always translate to human toxicity.

Having said all that, one toxin that has to be in the running is botulinium (botulism). It has an LD50 rats of 10^-5 mg/Kg, and that "ain't" much!

Vince Calder


Click here to return to the Zoology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory