The Kid Should See This

Venoms vs. Poisons

Venoms vs. Poisons. What’s the difference between these two substances? In this Brain Scoop video, Field Museum Chief Curiosity Correspondent Emily Graslie provides a quick description:

The terms ‘venomous’ and ‘poisonous’ are often used interchangeably, but they’re two very different things. To start out with, both are toxins, substances created by living things that can do harm to other living things. If a toxin is actively injected into you by a bite or a sting, that organism is venomous. If you absorb the toxin like by eating it, breathing it in, or by rubbing it on your skin, then that organism is poisonous.

Emily Graslie
Graslie also takes a closer look at how some reptiles and amphibians have evolved these toxins and how they’re used in a sort of evolutionary arms race—”an ever escalating race or competition.” Featured creatures include the false water cobra, the cane toad, the shingleback skink, and more.

toxins arms race between snake and toad
Watch these next: How (and why) do bees sting? and how do jellyfish sting? Plus, watch more Brain Scoop videos on TKSST.

This award-winning video collection is reader-supported. Become a sustaining member to keep TKSST online and free for everyone, including teachers and parents who use it as a resource to spark learning and curiosity for kids.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Fossil Sharks – The Brain Scoop

Rion Nakaya

Slow Loris Conservation in Vietnam

Rion Nakaya

How do jellyfish sting?

Rion Nakaya

What’s the difference between horns and antlers?

Rion Nakaya

The Story of Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde

Rion Nakaya

Making aloe plants for the hyena diorama at The Field Museum

Rion Nakaya

The flannel moth caterpillar is furry, brightly colored, & venomous

Rion Nakaya

Fish paralyzed by Man O’ War tentacles – Blue Planet II

Rion Nakaya

In Search of Fossil Fish – The Brain Scoop

Rion Nakaya

Get smart curated videos delivered every week.    
Subscribe