What the Fish? Episode 25: Finding Out Dory Is Venomous

Dory Is Venomous? What other Fishes Are Venomous?

Venomous animals are captivating because of the fears their toxins provoke and the potential pharmaceutical benefits their venoms contain. Most people conjure up snakes or scorpions when they think of venomous creatures, but recent scientific work has demonstrated that there are at least 15x as many species of venomous fishes than previously estimated, including the Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) that Ellen DeGeneres made famous in Finding Nemo. In fact, Dory is just one of more than 3,000 species of venomous fishes, making them more species-rich than venomous snakes and scorpions combined. Although our knowledge of venomous fishes is in its infancy, it is clear that their venoms should be regarded as a tremendous new source of pharmaceuticals because of the incredible diversity of fish venoms and their moderate levels of toxicity.


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So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Fish Nerds Podcast Team:

Eric Ahlgren (Fishes Volunteer)

Leo Smith (Associate Curator of Fishes)

Matthew P. Davis (Postdoctoral Research Scientist)

Beth Sanzenbacher (Outreach Coordinator)


Science Focus: 
Evolving Planet