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Otters Oddities

Mr Yuk is mean. Mr Yuk is green.

Who here remembers Mr Yuk? I still know the song, and I haven't seen the commercials for at least 30 years.


We used to get Mr Yuk stickers in school. I would make my parents mad because I'd use them. Not on the items you'd expect, though.

No, things like Windex, Borax, the little jug of Cyanide, all were safe from me and my Mr Yuk stickers.

See, I was putting the stickers on the real poisons. Things like Broccoli, Ketchup, Sardines and Brussels Sprouts. The real stuff that would kill me as a child. (yeah...I don't like ketchup. Never have. Deal with it)

The one place that I couldn't put Mr Yuk stickers, and where they actually belong, is on animals.


That's right. I said animals.

We all know, snakes and frogs and fish and mushrooms can be poisonous.

But, what a lot don't know is, there are animals, mammals, that are poisonous as well. And, guess what we're discussing today?


JELLYBEANS! Just kidding. Today, we're talking about poisonous mammals. I'll be describing the four known poisonous mammals for you, so you know to avoid them when you encounter them.


The Slow Loris

This little guy is a cute one. He's a primate and he's got the biggest eyes! You see him and you just want to snuggle with it! he looks so darn fluffy!


Slow Loris secrete a substance from their brachial glands, (on the upper arms), that they will spread on their bodies, and on the bodies of their young. Most predators will shy away from the smell. And in humans, it can cause a fatal anaphylactic shock.

Their bites are painful, and will cause swelling and an allergic reaction similar to cat dander, but are not considered toxic themselves, unless the Loris was in the process of grooming.


So, just leave them alone, and admire them from a distance.

Cuban Solenodon

This guy looks like a big rat with a long nose. because of it's nose, people will sometimes mistake it for a shrew, but don't you believe it.


It's found in two small areas in Cuba, so you probably wont run into one. Also, there aren't many of them left. In fact, in 1972, it was declared extinct. However, in 1974, they found more, and today it's a highly endangered species.

They have sharp little teeth, and that's a bad thing. because this little guy has venomous saliva. It's not quite powerful enough to kill a human, but it is strong enough to make you very sick for a week or so. So, don't pet if you ever go to Cuba.


Eurasian Water Shrew

It's a shrew. A little less than a foot long with a longish tail. I suppose if you're into rodents, a shrew can be considered cute.


This fella lives in Eurasia, from England all the way to korea.

Of all the animals on this list, this is the one you're most likely to encounter in the wild. However, it's also the one you need to worry the least about.


Like all shrews, it's saliva is also venomous. but, due to the size of shrews, their sharp little teeth aren't long enough to pierce a humans skin. So, while a frog or a snake has to worry, we don't.

So, go ahead and catch one if you want.


If you've heard of poisonous mammals before, this is the one you've most likely heard of.


The platypus os a monotreme. This means it's a mammal that lays eggs instead of giving birth. While monotremes were common a few million years ago, today there are only five species of them.

A platypus is also one of the oddest things you will ever see. It has the bill of a duck, the feet of an otter, and the tail of a beaver. When first discovered, naturalists thought it was an elaborate hoax, until a live specimen was captured.


Only the male platypus is poisonous. it has a spur on it's rear legs, like that of a rooster, that will inject a poison. it's not fatal to humans, usually, but it makes them wish they were dead. it's is extremely painful. Fortunately, you aren't going to have to deal with it, unless you're a platypus hunter, or a handler in a zoo.

While the platypus isn't endangered, it is protected in it's natural range because, for some reason, captive breeding doesn't work to well for them.


So. There you have it. The four known poisonous mammals. If you see any of them, be sure to plaster Mr Yuk all over them so kids know not to touch.

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