Often reptiles or insects have poison to defend themselves or to offend their prey. But I don't know any mammals which are toxic. So are there any mammals using poison and why aren't there so less/any?

  • $\begingroup$ The platypus has a venom, there's that. $\endgroup$
    – Artem
    Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 23:43
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ A list of venomous mammals is available at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_venomous_animals#Mammals. It could be worth noting that, although there are nine venomous mammal species listed amongst the ~5500 species of mammals, there are no venomous birds amongst the ~10000 species of birds, which makes avians an even more extreme group in this regard. $\endgroup$
    – bshane
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 4:48
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    $\begingroup$ Note that "toxic" and "venomous" are not the same. E.g. a rattlesnake is venomous but not toxic (you can eat it), while a puffer fish is toxic (you die if you eat it) but AFAIK not venomous. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


Answering the first part of your question: The cuban solenodon has venomous saliva. It's a mammal -- rather shrewlike in appearance. But yes, venomous mammals are rare!


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