The role of venoms in nature … and in human medicine
Why are toxins so advantageous to their possessors as to evolve over and over again? What is it about watery environments that favors so many venomous creatures? Marine biologist Paul Erickson explores these and other questions with astounding images from Andrew Martinez and other top underwater photographers.
GREAT for teaching STEM Marine Biology
Scorpions and brown recluse spiders are fine as far as they go, but if you want daily contact with venomous creatures, the ocean is the place to be. Blue-ringed octopi, stony corals, sea jellies, stonefish, lionfish, poison-fanged blennies, stingrays, cone snails, blind remipedes, fire urchinsyou can choose your poison in the ocean. Venoms are often but not always defensive weapons. The banded sea krait, an aquatic snake, wriggles into undersea caves to prey on vicious moray eels, killing them with one of the world’s most deadly neurotoxins, which it injects through fangs that resemble hypodermic needles.
About the Author
Writer, photographer, and video producer Paul Erickson creates exhibits, websites, guides, and videos for zoos, museums, and aquariums including the New England Aquarium, the Houston Zoo, ZooMiami, the Friends of the Los Angeles River, the Museum of Science and Discovery, and many others. He has authored or co-authored numerous magazine articles and three books about undersea life. His book The Pier at the End of the World was named an Outstanding Science Trade Book of 2016 by the National Science Teachers Association.
ANDREW MARTINEZ (Danbury, MA) specializes in images of the undersea world and is the author and photographer of Marine Life of the North Atlantic. He travels the world to photograph sea life, and was the photographer for The Pier at the End of the World named an Outstanding Science Trade Book of 2016 by the National Science Teachers Association.