Chapter 8 focused on natural poisons and dealt with chemicals that were directly involved in the day-to-day arms race between species. A rattlesnake’s venom, for example, has to neutralize a rodent so that the snake can have dinner. Toxins such as these have to be administered via a spine or a fang or a stinger. In other cases, the poison is not delivered, but rather lies within the animal’s body, and exposure only occurs when a predator eats, or attempts to eat, the poisonous prey. The tissues of the blowfish, for example, are edible but contain tetrodotoxin, and extreme care in preparation is necessary lest the diner receive a potentially lethal dose of the neurotoxin.
KeywordsBotulinum Toxin Prion Protein Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Botulinum Neurotoxin Clostridium Botulinum
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