Thursday, August 7, 2014

File this under "Just Because"

For some reason, today I became intensely interested in the effects of platypus venom.

"... the symptoms of platypus envenomation. In the human the most remarkable symptom is an immediate and excruciating pain (Fenner et al.1992; Martin and Tidswell 1895; Spicer 1876; Tonkin and Negrine 1994). Edema rapidly develops around the wound and gradually spreads throughout the affected limb (Fenner et al. 1992; Martin and Tidswell 1895; Spicer 1876; Tonkin and Negrine 1994). Information obtained from case histories (Fenner et al. 1992; Tonkin and Negrine 1994) and anecdotal evidence indicates that the pain develops into a long-lasting hyperalgesia that persists for days or even months. Morphine analgesia partially alleviates the pain, but, in the one detailed case history, wrist block was necessary to effect complete pain relief (Fenner et al. 1992)."

Quoted from "Venom From the Platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, Induces a Calcium-Dependent Current in Cultured Dorsal Root Ganglion Cells" by G. M. de Plater, P. J. Milburn and R. L. Martin,
 Journal of Neurophysiology, 85:1340-1345, 2001.

Apparently, it won't kill you, but the pain is so intense that even morphine doesn't always help. And you just thought they were cute in a fedora.


Chuckaroobob said...

Damn! I didn't know they were toxic!

The Kiwi said...

Yep they have a poisonous spur that can jab you like an Aussie cat fish can.