Poisonous and venomous animals of America

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Determining just how venomous a critter is isn't an exact science, but there is a type of standard: the LD50, or how much venom is needed to kill 50 percent of a test population of lab mice. We've weighed a number of factors for this countdown, including that LD50; how much venom an animal inflicts at a time; and how much good old-fashioned damage is done to a victim. Using its grooved incisors, the shrew delivers a killing bite, with venom potent enough to kill mice. While that's not enough to kill a human, the pain, swelling and muscle problems the toxins would cause are not worth annoying a shrew to find out.

The Gila monster is one of the most venomous lizards to humans. A bite isn't fatal to us, but it can cause severe pain, dropped blood pressure and hemorrhaging. The male version of this waddling Frankenstein of animals has serious venom in the pointy spurs of his hind legs. For humans, the platypus's weird cocktail of toxins creates excruciating pain that lasts for weeks, and is somehow immune to the effects of morphine.

That's some malevolent mojo right there. It may not have fangs, but this lizard literally chews on its victims until its venomous saliva travels through its grooved teeth and into a wound.

10 Most Venomous Creatures To Humans

In humans, a bite causes pain, swelling, sweating, falling blood pressure and, very rarely, death by respiratory failure. The majority of catfish are venomous and inflict incredibly painful wounds via strong, hollow ray fins. The stinging proteins are potent enough to hospitalize an unlucky person, or, in the case of the Plotosus lineatus striped eel catfish even cause death.

Also known as the mulga, this snake delivers a large amount of venom -- milligrams in one bite -- but fortunately, its venom isn't quite so potent as other ones. The hemotoxic venom from this critter causes nausea, vomiting, necrosis, muscle and joint pain, the bursting of red blood cells, organ damage, and possibly death in young children with weak immune systems. Death is very rare. But unfortunately, as seen in the case of TV personality and wildlife expert Steve Irwin, a sting to the abdomen, heart or other vital organ could be fatal.

The eastern diamondback is both the largest rattlesnake and most venomous snake in North America with a super-high venom yield: from , mg. It only takes mg for a human lethal dose.

The lionfish announces its toxicity with its bold warning coloration. The venom, delivered through the fin rays, can cause a host of problems ranging from pain, vomiting and fever to convulsions, paralysis and even death. The female black widow has large venom glands that deliver super-concentrated venom that interferes with the nerve signals that control muscles. The result is potentially fatal and causes severe pain and elevated blood pressure.

Countries With The Most Venomous Animals

The 13 spines on the fish's back can deliver a powerful neurotoxin that can cause excruciating pain and possibly death within a mere six hours if left untreated. Some of the symptoms are bleeding from the gums and in urine, and pain for up to a month. The bite can also be lethal. This critter's venom is so potent that it rivals the power of some snake venoms. The neurotoxins can cause intense pain, paralysis, asphyxiation and ultimately, death. Children are in particular susceptible. The krait is particularly insidious because its bite may not cause any pain or even be noticed if a person is asleep.

Its venom is full of powerful neurotoxins, though. A victim can literally suffocate to death four to eight hours after being bitten. The Tunisian variety of this scorpion is responsible for approximately 90 percent of deaths from scorpion stings in North Africa, causing up to deaths a year.

What makes this snake particularly dangerous is that it can deliver a lot of venom at a time. The king cobra may not have the most potent venom on this list, but it still ranks, because the venom's effects are incredibly deadly. First of all, it can spit its toxin, so it doesn't even need to bite you. Also, only 7 milliliters of the venom can kill 20 humans or one elephant. This scorpion is tiny but mighty deadly. Its sting can impart a lethal venom with a median lethal dose of 0. Thanks to its venom power, the saw-scaled viper is blamed for more human deaths than any other snake species combined in its region.

A tap from this arachnid, whose image is captured here by a National Geographic team, has a fatality rate of up to 40 percent. The potent venom of this spider is reputedly twice as deadly as cyanide. The effects on a human include increased blood pressure, arrhythmia, coma and death.

Five of the most dangerous animals in the US

The venom acts swiftly and can kill a small child within 15 minutes. The boomslang can open its jaws as wide as degrees when biting. Its venom is highly potent and contains a hemotoxin that disrupts a human's blood coagulation. That said, the venom is slow-acting, which helps buy time to obtain and anti-venom. The Dubois has the deadliest venom of all sea snakes and can kill a mouse with one bite.

Sea snake venoms are heinous. They can cause paralysis, blurry vision, difficulty swallowing or speaking, and, in about 3 percent of victims, death. This highly toxic snake's venom affects both the nervous system and blood coagulation. If left untreated, mortality is percent. In cases of severe envenomation, death comes swiftly -- within a half hour.

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The aquatic snails may move slowly, but that's precisely why their venom is extra potent. They have hollow modified teeth called "radulae" that are sharp enough to penetrate a wetsuit, and the estimated human lethal dose is incredibly small -- it's believed that the venom in one of these mollusks is enough to kill 20 adult humans. This tiny jellyfish, which may only grow as big as a person's fingertip, packs a huge punch. Unfortunate victims contract Irukandji syndrome, excruciating pain that even morphine has little effect on.

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