[eli5] Why are snakes not poisoned by their own venom?


[eli5] Why are snakes not poisoned by their own venom?

In: 0

Similar to why humans don’t get hurt by their own stomach acid. They have specialized sacs that hold their venom, and the tracts that the venom follows through their systems are evolutionarily designed to withstand it.

Because the venom is kept in special glands, and it is sent through their fangs to the prey when biting. The venom only poisons when it gets into blood.

Because they aren’t injecting it into themselves for starters.

Venom needs to get into the blood stream to do it’s work. Eating something that’s been envenomed rarely has any effect to my knowledge because the stomach breaks down the venom and it causes no damage.

Toxins are what is dangerous to eat. Also referred to as poisons. These terms are not interchangeable because they are inherent to the danger posed.

You get hurt by eating poison (or inhaling etc)

Venoms are injected into the flesh or bloodstream.

A bit of a false premise as some snakes are not immune to their own venom. It *is* possible that a snake can screw up and both bite and lethally envenomate itself.

But it’s not common obviously, first of all some snakes have immunity to their own venoms, but also as was pointed out, venom must by definition be injected into the flesh of the target. Ingesting the venom is often not a problem and it’s destroyed in the stomach.

The venom is only dangerous when injected. You could drink and digest it without trouble. It is just a small amount of protein in that case.