Sunday, 27 February 2011

10 Surprisingly Lethal Animals

Everyone knows cobras, sharks and lions are k*llers. But there are plenty of other animals that are just as dangerous as the usual suspects. We’ve found some rather surprising, not to mention frightening, species that if bothered, can k*ll humans. Whether it’s their bite, sting or strong limbs, these animals are some of the most lethal in the world, so read on to find out which wild things not to mess with.

Bottlenose Dolphin

01-Bottlenose-Dolphin

Swimming with dolphins is supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You might think differently though, if you knew they could k*ll. Scientists believe male bottlenose dolphins, which live in shallow waters around the world, might have been incited to attack young girls because of the strong hormones they release. The sometimes 12-foot-long animals attack prey such as porpoises by using their beaks as clubs and their sharp teeth to slash their v*ctims.

Stingray

02-Sting-Ray-

Everyone knew to be careful around these swimmers, but few realized the seriousness of a stingray attack until “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin was k*lled in 2006. The stingray's barbed tail only delivers mild venom, so when stabbed, most people (who usually step on the animal) only feel pain. But those who have been k*lled either had infected wounds or, as in Irwin's case, were stabbed in their vital organs.

Slow Loris

03-Slow-Loris

Don't let the big eyes and cute hands trick you. Hailing from southern Asia, this small primate emits toxins from its elbows, making it one of the only poisonous mammals in the world. The slow loris takes the toxin in its mouth as it gets ready to bite or licks its fur to deter attack. In humans, the poison may result in de*th due to anaphylactic shock.

Cassowary

04-Cassowary

Found in the rain forests of Australia and New Guinea, this large ostrich-like creature can get pretty aggressive when someone or something invades its territory. If attacked, you probably couldn't outrun it because of its speed and leaping ability, but it’s the cassowary's claws, which it uses to disembowel its v*ctims, that are so dangerous. In the wild, the birds seem to keep to themselves, but in high-stress situations, such as zoos where they are constantly being bothered, they get extremely feisty.

Blue-Ringed Octopus

05-Blue-Ringed-Octopus

If stepped on, these small creatures, found in the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Australia, may bite. And their poison, which contains maculotoxin as well as tetrodotoxin and has no antivenin, will result in almost instant de*th. If artificial respiration is done quickly after the att*ck, de*th can be prevented, but the treatment has to be done immediately—and artificial respiration continued for as long as 24 hours.

Poison Dart Frog

06-Poison-Dart-Frog

Although this amphibian may look bright and cheery, it’s another one of the most poisonous creatures around. Hailing from the Pacific lowlands of Colombia, this endangered animal got the name “dart frog” from the Amerindians’ tradition of dipping the tips of blowdarts in the poison it secretes. While these frogs haven't been known to directly k*ll humans, the golden poison frog remains the most de*dly, containing enough poison to k*ll 10 to 20 men.

Giant Anteater

07-Giant-Anteater

Judging by what they eat, you wouldn’t think they could cause any harm, but this mammal has seriously sharp four-inch claws that can k*ll a human with one swipe. Hailing from Central and South America, they are quite calm unless their territory is invaded. When threatened, giant anteaters can hold their own against the fiercest predators, including pumas and jaguars, and often end up winning the battle.

Leopard Seal

08-Leopard-Seal

Seals may look adorable, but don’t let their cute faces fool you. Leopard seals are predators at the top of the food chain in the Antarctic, and have been said to actually hunt humans. Their first choice is penguins, but they have exceptionally strong jaws and unusually long teeth, so their bite can be de*dly.

Pufferfish

09-Pufferfish

There’s no way in the world a fish as cute as this could do much harm, right? Wrong! As the second most poisonous vertebrate in the world, this fish, which hails from oceans all along the equator, contains tetrodotoxin, a poison that is de*dly to humans. There’s no cure for this fish's poison, which paralyzes the diaphragm, resulting in suffocation.

Cone Snail

10-Cone-Snail

They may look harmless, but these Indo-Pacific natives contain venom that paralyzes instantlyand may even lead to de*th. The animal inserts its venom into its prey using a harpoon-like tooth, which doesn’t sting because the venom has a paink*lling agent. Unfortunately, there is still no antivenin for cone snail bites, and the geographic cone snail remains the most venomous of the 500 species.

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