Strawberry poison-dart frog sitting on leaf


Poisonous animals contain or secrete toxins and need to be touched or eaten to contaminate their victim. This is different to venomous animals that actively inject a toxin into their the victim. There's a wide range of often highly complex poisons in the animal and plant kingdoms, all of which are used for defense. These poisons can paralyse, stun, cause tissue death or outright kill their victims. The effects depend on the type and concentration of poison and the amount delivered relative to the size of the victim.

Watch video clips from past programmes (14 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

View all 14 video clips

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Timelapse photography: speeding up life Timelapse photography: speeding up life

    Some of the most memorable sequences in natural history result from timelapse photography, an astonishing filming technique that opens our eyes to a whole new world.

  • Nature's record breakers Nature's record breakers

    Animal kingdom record breakers - how fast can a cheetah run, how heavy is an elephant and what's bigger than a dinosaur? Watch amazing video clips from the BBC archive and uncover the fascinating facts about our smallest primate, the longest stick insect and the most venomous snake.