Blue-Ringed Octopus


I’ve blogged about this before… but I didn’t know that the poison produced by a Blue-Ringed Octopus is that it’s a toxin produced in its salivary glands. Anyway, I thought it was worth mentioning.

The blue-ringed octopus is 12 to 20 cm (5 to 8 inches), but its venom is powerful enough to kill humans. There is no blue-ringed octopus antivenom available.

The octopus produces venom that contains tetrodotoxin, 5-hydroxytryptamine, hyaluronidase, tyramine, histamine, tryptamine, octopamine, taurine, acetylcholine, and dopamine. The major neurotoxin component of blue-ringed octopus venom was originally known as maculotoxin but was later found to be identical to tetrodotoxin, a neurotoxin which is also found in pufferfish and cone snails that is 10,000 times more toxic than cyanide. Tetrodotoxin blocks sodium channels, causing motor paralysis and respiratory arrest within minutes of exposure, leading to cardiac arrest due to a lack of oxygen. The toxin is produced by bacteria in the salivary glands of the octopus.

Imagine if you could bite someone, and the bacteria in your mouth could paralyze and kill. Sounds like a perfect explanation for how the zombie virus could be spread.

Mmmmmmm… Zombie spit.