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Marine envenomation refers to poisoning caused by sting or bite from a vertebrate or invertebrate marine species.
- Contain sharp spicules with irritants that cause pruritic dermatitis
- Coelenterates (Cnidaria jellyfish):
- Contain stinging cells known as nematocysts on their tentacles
- Fluid-filled cysts eject sharp, hollow thread-tube on contact.
- Thread-tube penetrates skin and envenomates the victim.
- Box jellyfish can kill within minutes
- Sharp, rigid spines are coated with slimy venom.
- Sea urchins:
- Hollow, sharp spines filled with various toxins
- Sea cucumbers:
- Hollow tentacles secrete holothurin, a liquid toxin.
- Cone shells:
- Venom injected through dart-like, detachable tooth.
- Active peptides interfere with neuromuscular transmission.
- Presents with puncture wounds similar to wasp stings.
- Most common cause of human marine envenomations.
- Tapered spines attached to tail inject venom into victim.
- Scorpion fish:
- Lionfish usually mild; stonefish can be life threatening.
- Sharp spines along dorsum and pelvis of fish
- Often stepped on inadvertently
- Neurotoxic venom
- Dorsal and pectoral spines contain venom glands.
- Sea snakes:
- Hollow fangs with associated venom glands
- Highly neurotoxic venom blocks neuromuscular transmission.