Venom is a biological wonder. Venomous animals are found in all known phyla, and they inhabit all kinds of environments. Over 220,000 species, around 15 percent of the world’s described animals, are known to be venomous. However, we don’t know much about these venoms, even though people have been using them in medicines since the seventh century BC.
Researchers have been investigating the therapeutic potential of some types of venom for awhile. Some drugs that are already FDA-approved are composed of venom peptides, like the diabetes drug exenatide, from the venomous Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum), or the analgesic ziconotide, from the venomous cone snail (Conus magus). Others are in development. Learn more from the video by Science.