Are Bimacs Poisonous?

Nancy

Titanites
Staff member
Moderator
#2
Hi Henry,

THis is from a response I wrote some time ago to a similar question:

"First of all, lets look at that word "poisonous". Although we use this word loosly in the US, it really means "poisonous when eaten". I imagine you are really asking, are octopuses "venomous". That is, do they have venom that they can somehow inject into another animal, paralyzing or killing it?

The answer is this: all octopuses are venomous. Their saliva contains a mixture of strong neurotoxins (venom) used to immobilize their prey. They use their beak and/or tongue to make a wound into which the toxic saliva can be squirted.

The amount and type of toxins in the saliva varies. The most venomous we know of are the Blue-ringed octopuses, found around Australia and the eastern Indo-Pacific. These have bacteria in their salivary glands that produce a powerful nerve toxin, tetrodotoxin (TTX). This toxin paralyzes the victim, who remains conscious but loses control of voluntary muscles and will die from lack of oxygen if not given respiratory support. Several human deaths have been attributed to bites from this small, attractive octopus, and there have been many near fatalities. "

Bimacs don't have this highly venomous toxin - many of our octo keepers have been bitten by young bimacs and report that it's something like a bee or a wasp sting. Have a look at the Journals and Photos forum: The Agent Bites and Inklet biting (mid May) These bites don't leave much of a mark, either. Of course, anyone might be allergic to the toxin, just as some people are allergic to bee stings, and you would have a more serious reaction. We haven't encountered this yet amoung any of our octo keepers.

Nancy
 

dragonfish

GPO
Registered
#3
Several human deaths have been attributed to bites from this small, attractive octopus, and there have been many near fatalities. "
as I understood, the bite of a blue ring can kill an adult person in a matter of minutes.

how do you treat a bite from a bluering? I imagine respiratory support isn't the only measure to take?
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#4
dragonfish said:
Several human deaths have been attributed to bites from this small, attractive octopus, and there have been many near fatalities. "
as I understood, the bite of a blue ring can kill an adult person in a matter of minutes.

how do you treat a bite from a bluering? I imagine respiratory support isn't the only measure to take?
Hiya,

as I understand it there is no antivenom for a bluering bite.......respiratory support is it!!!!! :shock: Your body will flush the toxins out.

Not a cheery thought!

J
 

dragonfish

GPO
Registered
#5
.......respiratory support is it!!!!! Your body will flush the toxins out.

Not a cheery thought!
well, at least your nervous system isn't working so you won't feel much.

anyhow, this got me wondering again. your body reacts to a venomous bite by building antibodies. this is also how antivenin for snakebites is produced. the buildup of antibodies causes immunity after a while

so in theory you should be able to build up an immunity for bluering bites. maybe not after 1 bite, but it seems possible in my eyes.

another thing that just crossed my mind. if bitten by an octopus (any species), does it help to put the affected area in hot water. if I'm not mistaking this breaks down the toxins.
 

Jakxx

O. bimaculoides
Supporter
#6
anyhow, this got me wondering again. your body reacts to a venomous bite by building antibodies. this is also how antivenin for snakebites is produced. the buildup of antibodies causes immunity after a while

so in theory you should be able to build up an immunity for bluering bites. maybe not after 1 bite, but it seems possible in my eyes.
Heh, although I believe it's not really a good idea trying to build up your immunity against bluering bites by actually let yourself get bitten :P

_edit_

oh yeah, maybe we should submit this idea to jackass, hehe... :bonk:
 

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