Monday, March 24, 2014

Creature Feature #157: Demonstinger

It is hard to believe that something this beautiful can be venomous.

The Demonstinger belongs to the same Family as the Stonefish - something you really do not wish to step on. He does not have scales, instead his skin is covered in a knobby array of wartlike glands and spines which help to camouflage him against the oceanfloor. An ambush predator, he uses his ray fins to "walk" along the sea bed, partially burrowing himself into the substrate to await his unsuspecting prey. If disturbed, he fans out his fins as a warning. If that fails, his venom is a powerful combination of neurotoxin, hemotoxin, and cardiotoxin, resulting in severe pain, shock paralysis, tissue necrosis, and even death.

Perhaps not suprisingly, he has no natural predators.

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