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Critically Speaking

Apr 29, 2020

Dr. Christie Wilcox has had a lifelong love of animals and creatures, and not just those of the cute and cuddly variety. Her love of these creatures evolved into her academic and now professional career as an award-winning science writer, including the popular book Venomous. In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Christie Wilcox discuss the types of species that make venoms, how the venoms are delivered, and their modes of action on their victims.   We are aware of some venomous species, such as rattlesnakes or cobras.  But others are less well known, such as the platypus, and others exist, such as the mongoose, that are immune to venoms. 



 Key Takeaways:

  • All animal lineages, with the exception of mammals and birds, contain venomous species.  
  • All venoms are a cocktail of some kind, but the ingredients in the cocktail can range from a handful to thousands of different molecules. The ones that we care about can range from 1 to dozens, or even hundreds.
  • Venomous animals are not out to get humans. A lot of times, they are trying to stay away from us.


"Not every bite or sting from a deadly species is going to be deadly. Some of that depends on the animal and what it delivers, where it delivers it, and how much it delivers." —  Dr. Christie Wilcox


Connect with Dr. Christie Wilcox:

Twitter: @NerdyChristie

Facebook: Christie Wilcox, Ph.D. 


Book: Venomous: How Earth’s Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry



Connect with Therese:


Twitter: @CritiSpeak




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