1 November 2019
GEO has published a new article ‘Tierisch giftig’ (November 2019): it is Micronaut’s newest image series on structures that allow venomous animals to bite and sting effectively, making them the much-feared predators they are.
Most venomous creatures are quite small, including spiders, scorpions, or jellyfish. Often, the structure that makes them so powerful and dangerous remains barely visible.
Over the past millions of years, venomous animals have evolved several times independently, which leads to a wide variety of elaborate venomous substances and morphologies. At the same time, highly specialized mechanisms and adaptive structures have been evolved to inject the venom precisely and effectively, thereby e.g. minimizing the danger of an injury during the attack, controlling the amount of venom that needs to be applied, and to maximize the rate of success immobilizing their prey.
Without the prallel development of highly specialized injection tools, the evolution of venoms would not make sense and could not take place.
© M Oeggerli / Micronaut 2019, supported by Pathology, University Hospital Basel, School of Life Sciences, FHNW, and C-CINA, Biozentrum, University Basel.
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