“Hey Mr Zoologist! I found a snake in my house today, could you please look at the photo and let me know if its Poisonous?”
That’s a question I get a lot, and my answer to that is, no its not Poisonous!
“How can you be so sure without looking at the snake?”
Because Snakes aren’t Poisonous!
Poison Arrow Frog
The inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus)
The terms Venomous and Poisonous are used interchangeably but that’s actually wrong! The difference lies in the way of how they are delivered.
Poison has to be absorbed or inhaled or ingested where as venom needs a method of delivery which is done by fangs or stings in most cases. Poisonous animals contain poison all over their body or some parts depending upon the species, and when a person comes into contact with that poisonous animals the poison is spread with direct contact. But in case of a venomous animal you have to be bitten by that animal. For example, if you caught a Poison arrow (a poisonous frog) the poison will affect you just by getting in contact or touching the frog, but even if you touch one of the most venomous snakes in the world Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus), you’d be fine, as long as you don’t get bitten. About 100mg of Inland Taipan venom is sufficient enough to kill 100 people or 250,000 mice, but if you drank a full glass of Taipan venom, unless you have internal injuries or ulceration, you would be perfectly fine. Venom has to be injected into the blood stream to affect but if you drank a poisonous extract of a poisonous frog you’d die!
But some of the snakes can be poisonous as well, like the Tiger Keelback snake, Rhabdophis tigrinus secrets a poison from its neck which it gets from eating poisonous frogs. This phenomenon is also known as dietary toxin sequestration. But apart from few exceptions most of the snakes are venomous and you’d not die even if you drink a glass full of snake venom unless you have any internal injuries!
Photo Source : http://www.birdandmoon.com