Woman survives two bites from the most toxic animal on Earth

She was bited by Octopodes


Are you permitted to talk about any of those uses? It sounds fascinating.


Yep, I certainly knew they are in the waters off Perth. I’ve seen them when swimming in the ocean around Point Peron, near Rockingham


Six more bits and it would byte her.


OT: The pedant pennants were flying high in this thread. Loved the Roger Rabbit, Alex Jones, and platypus references. :heart: Needed more drop bear though. Australia is definitely the land where everything wants to kill you.


I mean, most news channels are pretty toxic.

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Two more and it nibbled her


Thanks all for your awesome answers!!!

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Definitely not secret work (a quick check of google scholar brought up 91700 articles with tetrodoxin and sodium channels). Might not be that interesting, though. Neurophysiologists try to isolate currents in neurons to study them one at a time and figure out their functions. We use a lot of chemicals to block the channels that produce each neural current to do this.

Most evolved neurotoxins are specific membrane channel blockers. Tetrodotoxin from blue-ringed octopodes blocks sodium-channels. Dendrotoxin from mamba venom blocks a particular type of potassium channels. Tarantula venoms block other types of potassium channels, and there are specific fungi that have evolved a blocker of another specific potassium channel type involved in epilepsy. (this is limited to toxins I’ve used, it is a really long list of possible toxin channel blockers)

To determine the cellular role of each channel we stick electrodes within a single cell and directly measure currents before and after very targeted application of the appropriate toxin; to measure circuit function we usually record sensory or motor output before and after targeted toxin application. Then after the influence of individual channels are determine, we build models to try to figure out the interactions between.


Cool! Thanks!

I see what you did there.


The only things in Australia that have tried to kill me are humans in cars.


You must not be from New South Wales then. The male Sydney funnel-web spider has killed 13 people prior to 1981. 1981 is the year anti-venom became available. They burrow in humid sheltered places like yards with rocks or logs in them.

I was kidding about the drop bears.

I live in New South Wales. I have seen a few funnelwebs in my time.
And redbacks too.
They are small creatures and as long as you don’t try and pick them up, they are no threat.
Same with the deadly octopi, cone shells, snakes and whatnot.
Now crocodiles are a legit threat in the far north. But aside from them, our largest land predator is the Dingo.
Arguably a deadly threat to unattended infants.
But no bears, no big cats. I guarantee the biggest threat you will encounter here is an Australian in car.


Yeah, never seen a drop bear either. But every week I see dead wildlife on the side of roads I walk and cycle on.
Koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, native parrots and reptiles.
Sacrificed for the unstoppable Cult of the Car.
(Yeah, I dont drive, in case that isn’t obvious)


I met a train driver who drives freight trains to Perth (I forget from where, possibly Melbourne), his tales of having to clean the blood and corpses off the front of his train were really unpleasant.

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@alcorrupt The Drop Bear prank

They probably weren’t the first to pull this one but I found it hilarious.


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