The Ultimate Jellyfish Venom Quiz

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

The jellyfish is an unusual and fascinating marine animal. Despite its semi-transparent, gelatinous appearance the jellyfish has a painful, venomous sting if you come into contact with one of its tentacles. Take this quiz and learn more about this unique sea creature.

Would you describe the jellyfish as a poisonous or a venomous marine creature?

The terms are used interchangeably, but have different meanings. Poison is ingested, whereas venom is injected for offensive purposes and so the jellyfish is venomous.

Where does a venomous creature usually acquire its poison?

Venomous creatures usually manufacture the poison through their diet.

What is common to different venomous creatures?

They have a means of actively delivering the venom, such as by fangs, stingers, tails or tentacles.

Which marine creature has the deadliest venom?

The sting of the pale blue box jellyfish is among the deadliest in the world.

How long does it take for the box jellyfish venom to kill a human?

The venom can kill a human within five minutes.

Just how much venom does this deadly creature have?

The box jellyfish has enough venom to take down 60 adults.

What are nematocysts?

They are like tiny stinging darts that fire whenever the tentacle of the jellyfish comes into contact with chemicals on the body of the prey or victim.

How many nematocysts are there in each tentacle?

Each tentacle has about 5,000.

What are cnidoblasts?

They are the cells on the tentacle housing nematocysts.

The venom of the box jellyfish is described as dermonecrotic. What does that mean?

It can kill skin cells and underlying tissue, resulting in blackened, dead skin and possible scarring.

What happens when you try to shake the stingers off?

Attempting to shake them off makes the tentacles contract and stick tighter to your skin, possibly releasing even more stingers.

Is there an effective first aid prior to medical treatment?

Acetic acid solutions such as vinegar render the stinging cells harmless, preventing further venom from entering your body. If you don't happen to have vinegar with you at the beach, urine is readily available and also works well.

How do some Australians avoid jellyfish stings?

They wear women's pantyhose, since the nylon prevents the jellyfish from detecting the chemicals on the skin which causes it to sting. What your friends might think about you wearing pantyhose when swimming is another story.

What is a common method of measuring the toxicity of a substance?

LD50 is the lethal dose that kills half of the test animals it is used on.

Why are researchers phasing out this method?

Despite the desire to have a standardized measure, there is a need to find alternative methods that would reduce the deaths of test animals.

What other reasons are there for seeking alternatives?

Test animals such as rats or rabbits don't have the same response to venom that humans would, even taking into consideration relative sizes and weights.

What is an inland taipan?

This Australian snake is considered the deadliest in the world.

Just how deadly is it?

The venom from one bite is enough to kill 15,000 mice.

How are venomous creatures benefiting mankind?

A component of the cone shell's venom has been developed into a drug for chronic pain believed to be 10,000 times stronger than morphine.

What animal is contributing to fighting cancer?

An ingredient in copperhead venom is used to fight cancer.

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