Difference Between Poisonous and Venomous Snakes

Poisonous vs Venomous Snakes

Despite the differences that are exhibited between poisonous and venomous snakes, both of them will bring no good in case of a bite. However, the difference between the two types of snakes may not be known to the majority but would be important to be aware of.

Poisonous Snakes

Substances that are capable of causing detrimental effects on an organism through absorption via epithelial lining can be defined as the poisons. For the snakes to be venomous there should be a poison to be absorbed into the victim’s body through the epithelial lining such as gut or skin. Therefore, the poison should be ingested or absorbed into the victim’s body. The most important fact about poisonous snakes is that they do not have a specialised mechanism for the poisoning of the victim. Therefore, it becomes clear that poisonous snakes are not deliberate killers. It should be stated that the poisonous snakes are not venomous although they are commonly referred to be. That means the actual poisonous snakes do not intend to kill or immobilize another animal using poison. As an example, the rat snake could never be detrimental unless it is consumed as a food and the digested matter becomes poisonous to the consumer. The python is not poisonous but can be deadly, as it can constrict the prey mechanically but never by a chemical mean. There are no poisonous snakes, but they can be accidentally poisonous in case of ingestion or absorption.

Venomous Snakes

Snakes those are capable of killing through deliberate injection of venom into the victim are known as the venomous snakes. Venom could be any toxin that is usually injected via biting or stinging, but it is neither ingested nor absorbed. The advantage for the snake by injecting the venom into the victim is that its activity is fast, and the victim will be, probably, dead or immobilized soon. As the bite of the venomous snake takes place, the venom is directly transferred as it is into the lymphatic system. In venomous snakes, there are body structures developed for this purpose such as venom glands and fangs. Usually, the salivary glands are developed into venom glands, and the venom is injected through specialized mechanisms in each venomous snake.

There are few types of snakes based on the type of venom, and they can be further classified into different categories according the type of weaponry. The main three types of venomous snakes are known as the highly venomous, moderately venomous, and mildly or non-venomous. Neurotoxins, Haemotoxins, Cardiotoxins, and Cytotoxins are the main types of venom substances that are produced in venomous snakes, and both those types are known to be deadly for humans and many other animals. Members of the taxonomic families Elapidae, Viperidae, and Atractaspididae are some notorious venomous snakes, and some colubrid members can also be venomous.

What is the difference between Poisonous and Venomous Snake?

• Venomous snakes become detrimental to the prey via injecting the venom, whereas poisonous snakes could be harmful to the consumer in case of ingestion or absorption.

• The victim is meant to immobilize or kill through venom in venomous snakes while poisonous snakes do not intend to kill the victim.

• Venomous snakes have specialized venom injecting organs (fangs and venom glands) and mechanisms, but poisonous snakes neither do have such organs nor mechanisms.

• Venomous snakes are directly detrimental for the victim while poisonous snakes indirectly become harmful.

• Venomous snakes are serious, deliberate killers while poisonous snakes are not.