I wonder if all quadrupeds (or, mammals, at least), are edible?

From what I have collected, even down to fish, everything is edible apart from being sick or infected, and, apart from some glands secreting (deliberately, as far as this term makes sense in evolution) poisonous molecules.

This is (if correct), in stark contrast to plants, where frequently many parts of the plant contains poisons. (It has some logic: plants can't run away or mechanically fight back.)

Q: Are all quadrupeds edible?

An additional bonus on: WHY?


closed as primarily opinion-based by kmm, AliceD, rg255, James, fileunderwater May 24 '16 at 13:37

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Why the down-votes? Please tell me if I missed any standards of this site?! $\endgroup$ – Gyro Gearloose May 23 '16 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ Its an interesting question actually. I upvoted it. $\endgroup$ – curious_cat May 23 '16 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ @GyroGearloose Downvotes can be done for any reason whatsoever. They have no bearing on whether or not the question is breaking rules. $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck May 24 '16 at 2:38
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    $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck are you telling me that down-votes do not necessarily have any reason in the question at all? $\endgroup$ – Gyro Gearloose May 24 '16 at 15:27
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    $\begingroup$ So you're saying that you believe people abuse the system and get away with it? Who cares? If you post decent questions and answers you'll only go up in votes, surely not down. $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck May 26 '16 at 20:03

Edible by whom? Lets assume humans.

Yes all quadrpeds are edible though you may not want to eat every part.

For example, the scent glands of a skunk, or the quills of a porcupine are repulsive or impossible to eat. Also, some organs, like the liver of a polar bear, which accumulates vitamin A to toxic (to humans) levels.

It's impossible to say why this is so, since we can't prove why evolution occurs one way or another. What you suggest about mobility is reasonable, but not universal, since the poisonous puffer fish is able to move.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I had humans in mind, but anyone who has an answer for non-humans (up to other multi-cellular organisms) is welcome. Will wait to see other answers before accepting yours. $\endgroup$ – Gyro Gearloose May 23 '16 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ No offense meant by not accepting straight foreword, but with other science, like math, it is much easier to verify by own (re)calculation. (Don't comment on this, it's only a personal message and I will delete it some time soon.) $\endgroup$ – Gyro Gearloose May 23 '16 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ As this question got 3 (unexplained) down-votes, I will delete it. $\endgroup$ – Gyro Gearloose May 23 '16 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ What makes polar bears tolerant to high levels of vitamin A? $\endgroup$ – user137 May 24 '16 at 1:56
  • $\begingroup$ @GyroGearloose People are not obligated to "explain" downvotes. They can downvote whatever they feel like. I hate it when people say such things. $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck May 24 '16 at 2:39

Polar bear (and probably a seal) liver is toxic due high concentration of Vitamin A.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle is probably toxic as it consumes poisonous sponges and its "body fat absorbs the toxins without making the turtle ill, but their meat is potentially poisonous to humans".

Shrikethrush birds (three species) are toxic as they consume melyridae beatles.

Moreover, there's a plenty of toxic amphibians like toads (bufotoxin called after them) and frogs.

  • $\begingroup$ Polar bear meets my question as a living counter example. As for the other species, the poison is not produced but consumed, in other words, those animals are not poisonous of their own. Good enough for a warning! $\endgroup$ – Gyro Gearloose May 23 '16 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ @GyroGearloose Whether they make it in their body or bring it in from outside they are still toxic. You can't eat them safely. $\endgroup$ – Tim B May 24 '16 at 8:51
  • $\begingroup$ @GyroGearloose: The platypus synthesises its own venom, but that's only in one gland so I don't know that it makes the animal inedible. Btw I'm not sure that polar bears are synthesising much if any of that vitamin A -- generally speaking omnivores can generate vitamin A from carotenoids, but polar bears aren't eating veggies. They're probably just sequestering vitamin A from their food (seals). $\endgroup$ – Steve Jessop May 24 '16 at 9:19

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