The Power of Poison: Sneak Peek
by AMNH on
A brand-new exhibition, The Power of Poison, is opening in less than two weeks, and it promises a tantalizing look at poisons in nature, in myth and legend, as medicine, and far more.
A quick poison fact, just one of many you'll learn in the exhibition: Nearly all animals eat plants, and those plants very often contain toxins that range from bitter-tasting substances called tannins that interfere with digestive enzymes to poisons that can cause illness, even death. That's why many plant-eaters, including howler monkeys (seen below), have come up with surprising ways to break up plants' chemical defenses.
In an introductory video about the exhibition, hear from Mark Siddall, an expert on leeches in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology and the show's curator, about the topic's allure—and what, precisely, a poison is. (You may think you know...)