Well, what we humans may refer to as beautiful, cute or adorable, most times mother nature sees such as dangerous and lethal. This has been proven in studies showing that most living organisms usually develop bright colors not as a show of beauty but as a warning sign. This is evident in poisonous mushrooms, carnivorous plants, deadly insects, amphibians such as the newt and other animals. Here’s a list of 10 adorable looking creatures that are deadly;
1. THE POISON DART FROG
This little creature is a marvel to behold. It is diurnal and is found mainly in the tropics of Central and South America. It is one of the most colorful amphibians, sporting a brightly colored skin ranging from blue to red and even yellow with dark stripes or patches. One thing is certain though, never attempt touching the skin with bare hands. It’s skin secretes toxins which cause nausea, swellings and even death. The golden poison dart frog secretes enough poison to kill 10 men.
2. THE BLUE RINGED OCTOPUS
Still on the coloration part, these species of octopus are distinctively known for their yellow skin with blue and dark rings. They are found mainly in the Indian and pacific oceans. Though characteristically small in size (ranging from 12 to 20 cm), they are nonetheless very deadly and would deliver a lethal bit when provoked. Usually before biting, they warn assailants by displaying a very colorful array(their skin becomes bright yellow and their rings glow in various shades of blue). Well, this often endears people more to it leading to the bite. It’s bite injects tetradotoxin, a very potent poison thereby making it one of the most venomous marine animals.
3. THE SLOW LORIS
Looks can be deceiving when it comes to this primate. An adorable sight to behold, it is found mainly in southeast Asia. It has a round head, narrow mouth with large round eyes. It is also believed by locals to have supernatural abilities like warding off evil spirits. But there’s something more unique about them. It is the fact that they are the only venomous primates. Their venom which is lethal in a few species is obtained when their saliva mixes liquid secreted by a sweat gland under their arms. It has been known to kill humans though not in all species of the slow Loris.
4. THE BOOMSLANG SNAKE
Stretching to over 160 cm in length, this Sub-Saharan African snake is one of the most marvelously evolved serpents in the world. It posses a distinct egg-like shaped head and very large eyes. The males are more colorful with a bright light green color and black or often blue scale edges while the females are usually brown. This snake is very poisonous and a bite from it can contain as much as 1.6 mg of venom. Though the venom is slow acting, victims have been known to have died from the bites of juveniles, bleeding from every hole located on the skin. It is advisable not to attempt handling this snake.
5. THE LEOPARD SEAL
Commonly called the sea leopard, it sports a coat shaded with a silver to dark Grey blend and dark leopard like spots thus earning it it’s name. Leopard seals are the third largest seals in world. They posses serpent like bodies, a head that looks too large for their bodies and sharp canines in their mouth for tearing flesh making them top arctic predators. They also usually showcase a smile on their face due to the edges of their mouth arched upwards permanently and are often eager to help humans, supplying/providing food (by giving them penguins) for people in the arctic. But these normally friendly creatures have a dark side to their tale. In 2003, a marine biologist was dragged down to about 200feet under water by a leopard seal. This shows that these seals can be very dangerous if you come too close for comfort.
This is a well known aquatic mammal so there’s little need for a description. Do you know that killer whales are also a specie of dolphins? Yeah they are. Dolphins although known to be friendly with humans are more than capable of tearing you to bits when provoked so it’s advisable that you treat these oceanic predators with caution and respect.
7. HOODED PITOHUI
Here’s an adorable little bird(from a safe distance though). It is native to New Guinea, with a black upper wing, tail, head, chin and throat. The rest of its feather bear a rufous chestnut color. It actually looks harmless but this little one is actually one of the only few known poisonous birds. It contains batrachotoxin compounds in its feathers and skin. The toxin is often lethal to humans so you should never touch the bird with bare hands.
8. PUFFER FISH
This is a colorful fish, small to medium in size (depending on the species). It usually glides slowly and elegantly bug, occasionally engages in a burst of speed when threatened. It is known for its unique ability to puff up by sucking air or water into it’s elastic stomach thus making it appear larger and almost round. It also showcases numerous spines containing tetradotoxin (TTX) which is 1200 times more lethal than cyanide. A single puffer fish can harbor enough toxins to kill up to 30 adults. It is advisable not to hunt, cook or handle a puffer fish unless you are specially trained to do so.
9. THE ALBINO BURMESE PYTHON
This serpent is native to southeast Asia and has also been converted to a pet in many parts of the US, Asia and Europe. They are white colored with yellow patches unlike their dark colored relative (the Burmese python). They are relatively unafraid of humans and usually coexist well with humans thus the reasons for their adoption as pets. Nonetheless, caution is needed while handling this snake. Although they are not poisonous, these constrictors can squeeze the life out of an adult if not properly handled. Fortunately, this only happens if the snake is not handled properly and is not well fed.
10. THE CASSOWARY
One look at this bird and you’ll think you’ve seen a dinosaur. It is found in New Guinea, the Maluku Islands and Australia. The cassowary bears a close resemblance to a croythoraptor jacobsi. It possesses a skin covered keratinous casque on the head, the neck and head are blue in color, a red or orange colored wattle and black plumage all through. They are often timid and usually run away from humans but these flightless birds have lethal weapons at their arsenal. They posses three toes with sharp claws, the second being dagger like. The cassowary attacks when provoked by stabbing with its dagger like claw thus dealing lethal blows on anyone deemed a threat. You don’t ever want to be on the wrong side of this bird.