Poison vs. Venom

Poison vs. Venom

Poison and venom are very similar and often confused. Venom is actually a type of poison. The difference is in the method of delivery. Poison can be ingested in many different ways, whereas venom is injected by the animal that produces it. Both cause reactions ranging from mild irritation to death.

Poison is a substance that causes illness or death to living organisms if it gets inside them. It is normally ingested by being swallowed, but can also be injected, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. The impact of poisons varies, depending on the type and dosage. Some reactions are localized (hives, rash) while others are systemic (vomiting, convulsing). Poisons can build up over time, as in the case of carcinogens. Poison is used as a noun (Don’t drink poison) and also as a verb (Don’t poison me).

Venom is a type of poison produced by an animal to kill or injure other animals. It is usually transmitted through a bite (as with a snake) or a sting (as with a bee). Venomous animals are usually equipped with teeth, stingers, or spines. The strength of the venom varies and can affect prey differently. Some common reactions to venom are itching, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, and death. Venomous animals include many types of snake, fish, spiders, insects, and marine invertebrates. Venom is only used as a noun.

Therefore, if you eat an animal and die, it was poisonous. If the animal bites you and you die, it was venomous.

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