“Poisonous compounds are like yin and yang, dark and light,” says Mark Siddall, the curator of the division of invertebrate biology at the American Museum of Natural History. “They’re often medicinal on the one hand, lethal on the other. That something is poisonous doesn’t make it bad; it’s what we do with it.”
Deborah Blum, journalist and author of The Poisoner’s Handbook, spoke with him about the toxic natures of snakes and spiders, frogs and fish, bees and even birds.
Read the full conversation in the New York Times, and learn more about Dr. Siddall’s new book, Poison: Sinister Species with Deadly Consequences.