This fish gets predators high so it can escape

This fish gets predators high so it can escape

However while these plankton feeders and aquarium favorites might not look like they could hurt a fly, their venom can easily make a predator's blood pressure drop like one.

And not only does fang blenny venom cause no pain - it contains opioid hormones that we're used to thinking of as painkillers. It was very surprising that when they injected this venom into lab mice, it remained painless.

An analysis of the venom found three venom components - a neuropeptide that occurs in cone snail venom, a lipase similar to one from scorpions, and an opioid peptide.

Bryan Fry, from the University of Queensland, explained that fish with venomous spines on their bodies "produce immediate and blinding pain". Rather, it lowers the victim's distress and knocks them out more effectively than the other components would by themselves.

"This study showed that the venom delivery system, the big fangs, evolved before the venom did", study author and venom expert Nicholas Casewell from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine told Gizmodo.

That's because the heroin-like poison emitted by the blenny may lead to new and better painkillers. They started by imagining the small jaws of this tropical fish collected from the Indian and Pacific Oceans' area to reveal that not all the members of this species feature venom glands at the base of their canines. Afterward, they returned the fishes immediately to the reservoir, and the swabs were placed inside a solution to draw out the venom.

Fry believes the venom causes the larger fish to become dizzy. The study also found evidence that suggests that the teeth from fang blennies evolved before the venom.

Instead it rapidly drops the blood pressure of predators.

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The New York Times reported that, besides the opioids found in the venom of some fang blenny species, "the scientists identified two other toxins, an enzyme, and "a molecule used in neuron signaling". Instead of creating pain, the blenny's poison simply serves as a way to tiresome the predator's senses while the small fish to swims away. "The fang blenny would simply swim out of the mouth and escape".

"Fish venom has been understudied". Study co-author Bryan Fry surmises that this combination "can produce sensations of extremely unpleasant nausea and dizziness".

Could new drugs be found in its unique venom?

In the biodiverse realm of coral reefs, other species also "mimic" the fang blenny - developing similar striped patterns and bright colours that may fool predators into thinking that they too are opioid-laced.

Dr Casewell said: 'These unassuming little fish have a really quite advanced venom system, and that venom system has a major impact on fishes and other animals in its community.

"This study is an excellent example of why we need to protect nature", Fry said.

Fry said that the venom could be the source of the next blockbuster painkiller, which necessitates the protection of these creatures' marine habitat.

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