Deadliest animals in the world – at a glance

Posted on Mar 30, 2012 in Skills

Deadliest poison – The sea wasp jellyfish

This jellyfish, commonly found around Australia’s coast, is perhaps the most venomous creature on earth. Brush one of its many fifteen foot tentacles and you will suffer an excruciatingly painful death within minutes. Jellyfish prey on small fish and use their venom to kill them instantly - which is handy when you have no natural means of holding onto your lunch.

 

©Ralf Kraft - Fotolia.com

Deadliest killer of them all – The mosquito

This tiny insect is actually our greatest foe. The mosquito does not kill humans directly but as the carrier of the deadly malaria parasite (and other diseases) it kills more than one million people in Africa alone, each year.

 

©Torsten Ruegner - Fotolia.com

Deadliest maneater – The saltwater crocodile

Crocodiles genuinely like eating us.Every year over 2,000 perish in the jaws of these hunters and most of these deaths occur in Australia. Their modus operandi hasn’t changed for thousands of years. They lie in wait motionless, before striking with lightning speed. They clamp down on their victim with more biting power than five hyenas combined and then drag the helpless victim under the water where it will be drowned and eaten.

 

© Darren Green - Fotolia.com

Deadliest frog – The golden poison arrow dart frog

These tiny frogs live in the rainforests of South America and strut their stuff along the ground without fear of being eaten. This is because their skin oozes with a deadly poison and their bright colours act as a warning sign to other animals to stay away. Each frog produces enough toxin to kill 10 people. And the slightest contact with them could lead to death. Indeed natives roll the tips of darts across the frogs’ backs and use them for hunting.

 

© Russ Bowling - flickr

Deadliest snakes – The inland taipan & Asian cobra

The inland taipan snake carries just 0.1 grams of venom in its poison glands. But this is still enough venom to kill 100 people or, more desirably for the snake, 200,000 mice.  However this shy snake lives the north east part of Australia and poses little threat to humans on a daily basis.  Unlike the aggressive Asian cobra which, although less poisonous, is responsible for the vast majority of the 50,000 snakebite deaths a year.

 

© Richard Ling - Wikimedia

Deadliest seashell – The geographer cone

It may look pretty and harmless but if you see this seashell on the beach - whatever you do - don’t pick it up. This type of sea snail defends itself with a sharp sting that injects a venom strong enough to kill a person in just a few minutes.

 

© Coral1 - flickr

Deadliest pet – The dog

Roughly 1,000 people need emergency care each day to treat dog bites in the United States. The sad truth is that in Europe and North America you’re more likely to be killed by your pet pooch than by a spider, shark or snake. And by compiling US and Canadian press accounts between 1982 and 2007, Animal People News determined that a combination of pit bulls, rottweilers and wolf hybrids were responsible for 70% of  all dog attacks in these countries that ended in fatality.

 

Why aren’t insects bigger?

© DeanMurray.com - Fotolia.com

Answer : Whereas humans have lungs, insects breathe using a vast connection of tiny tubes. These tubes deliver oxygen directly to their tissues. However the bigger insects get, the less efficient this method of breathing becomes. Interestingly, thousands of years ago when the atmosphere had more oxygen in it, insects used to be much, much bigger. Indeed millipedes three feet long would not have been uncommon.

 

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