Sea Cucumber Facts Venom

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If you have handled sea cucumbers before, you won’t be surprise to know that sea cucumbers typically react with some form discharge when you try to pick them up.

Sea cucumbers usually discharge their toxic packages as a last resort against their offenders. Toxins are expensive to manufacture in the natural environment and therefore sea cucumbers use they sparingly and only in the most dire of situations.

In less critical situations, sea cucumbers react with other measures that appear no less extreme to us, but this further show the importance of the toxin to sea cucumbers. So much so that throw out their internal organs is a defensive response that is considered preferable to discharging their toxins.

One of the main drawbacks about the venom is that it is a one-use response. Sea cucumbers take a long time to replace the toxins that they have used up, and this leaves them vulnerable for a period of time. If you had only one bullet in your pistol, you would use it as a last resort too.

Luckily enough for us, this is part of the reason why you normally don’t feel uncomfortable even when sea cucumbers discharge strange looking entrails onto your hand. That is because those are not venomous. But if and when you are unfortunate enough to come into contact with venomous discharge, you are not in great danger.

Most sea cucumbers do not contain lethal venom; their venom may irritate your skin, causing some discomfort, but rarely anything more serious than that. Unlike their relative the sea urchins, sea cucumbers do not have stings that will break your skin and allow venom to get into your system, that makes them much safer than sea urchins.

Furthermore, sea cucumber venom is usually more dangerous to other marine creatures because they live in the water which gets contaminated with the toxin. They live and breathe the toxic water which can cause them such great discomfort that offenders with such an experience will usually leave sea cucumbers alone for the rest of their lives.

We usually pull away quickly enough when we see some discharge from sea cucumbers and that keep us relatively safe even from dangerous venom. However, you should be careful if you have open wounds on your hands. The venom can get into your system through the open wound and that could potentially be danger or extremely uncomfortable.

Otherwise sea cucumbers are relatively safe to handle, but that doesn’t mean you should. Sea cucumbers are very delicate creatures and as mentioned above, responding to “offenders” and curious hands like yours alike place a huge stress on the sea cucumbers. Watching sea cucumbers from a safe distance and avoid handling them is the best for both the sea cucumber and yourself.



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