Long ago, our ancestors may have become human to get away from snakes. They may have left the water in order get away from poisonous fish! There are actually more poisonous fish than poisonous snakes. Biologists have now identified 1,200 species of venomous fish (there are also over 1,500 types of poisonous lizards).

Robert Roy Britt writes in LiveScience.com that the number venomous fish tallied in the new study is six times previous estimates. More than 50,000 people are poisoned by fish bites every year, and some of them actually die from them.Poisonous fish live in all bodies of water, from streams to oceans, and at all depths. Most of them are in the tropic, although there are a few in California.

There is one poisonous fish, called fugu, or pufferfish, that is considered a great delicacy in Japan when used raw in sushi, but which is so poisonous that consuming it is always lethal, unless the poison sac has been carefully removed by an expert chef, who has to be specially licensed to prepare it. Every year a number of people die from eating fugu, and the poisonous parts are considered the most delicious. The poison paralyzes the muscles, so the victim stays fully conscious, and eventually dies from asphyxiation. There is no antidote.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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