What Animals Are Poisonous to Eat? [A Complete List]

Our world is full of incredible creatures, from the smallest insect to the largest mammal. Some of these animals are even edible, while others can be dangerous to your health.

Unfortunately, some creatures that appear to be harmless can actually be quite harmful if eaten – this is because they’re poisonous or venemous. That’s why you should learn either how to properly eat them or to avoid them.

So, what animals are poisonous to eat? That’s exactly what we’ll cover in this article.


To start off, we have mammals, the type of animals we hunt most.

By the way, if you’re wondering whether you can eat squirrels, click here.

1. Platypus

The platypus is a mammal indigenous to Australia and is one of the few species of mammal that lays eggs instead of giving birth to live young.

The platypus is also one of the most poisonous mammals in the world due to the presence of a venomous spur on the back feet of males. The venom of the platypus can cause severe pain and swelling, and can even be fatal in some cases.

It is important to note that the venom of the platypus is only present in males, and the females are not venomous. 

2. Skunk

Skunks are small mammals native to North America and are wellknown for their ability to spray a foulsmelling liquid as a defensive mechanism.

This foulsmelling spray is composed of a mixture of sulfurcontaining chemicals, and if these chemicals come into contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth of a human, they can cause irritation, burning, and even temporary blindness.

If you want to learn how to properly eat skunks, click here.


Next up, for animals that are poisonous, we have fish. Whether you spearfish or just fish regularly, there is a couple of fish you should avoid.

3. Pufferfish 

The pufferfish is a particularly dangerous type of fish due to its tetrodotoxin, a poison that affects the nervous system and can be fatal to humans. 

Eating this fish can cause paralysis, respiratory failure, and even death. 

4. Lionfish

The Lionfish is a popular aquarium pet, but eating this fish can have serious consequences. The venomous spines of the fish contain a neurotoxin that can cause pain, vomiting, and paralysis.

5. Tilapia

Tilapia are freshwater fish that are commonly farmed for food. However, eating these fish can be dangerous, as some have been found to contain the toxin saxitoxin, which can lead to paralysis, respiratory failure, and death. 

6. Stonefish

The stonefish is a bottom-dweller native to the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific region. Despite its innocuous name, it is one of the most venomous fishes in the world.

It has 13 venomous spines along its back and sides, which can inject a potent neurotoxin if a person steps on it or touches it. The toxin can cause burning pain, swelling, and paralysis, and can even be fatal if not treated quickly.

Eating a stonefish can also cause severe illness, due to the high levels of toxins in its flesh and organs.

7. Toadfish

The toadfish is a type of saltwater fish found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It is a bottom-dweller that buries itself in the sand and uses its spines and venomous glands to protect itself from predators.

Eating a toadfish can also be dangerous, as it contains a powerful toxin called batrachotoxin, which can lead to numbness, paralysis, and even death if ingested.


Some people like to hunt reptiles and it’s fairly fun to do. But, there are some reptiles you should not hunt.

8. Rattlesnake

These snakes are found in the United States, Mexico, and parts of Canada. They possess a highly toxic venom which can cause respiratory failure, paralysis, and even death if ingested.

Rattlesnakes are also known to have very painful bites, and the venom can spread quickly throughout the body if not treated.

9. Gila Monster

The Gila monster is a large lizard native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It is venomous, and its bite can cause intense pain and swelling, as well as nausea and vomiting. 

10. Cobra

The cobra is a highly venomous snake found in Africa and Asia. Eating cobra meat can cause serious health problems, including paralysis, heart failure, and even death. 

11. Komodo dragon

These large lizards are found in Indonesia and are known to possess a powerful venom which can cause paralysis, difficulty breathing, and even death if ingested.


Next up, we have birds, which are also commonly hunted.

12. Hoopoe

The Hoopoe is a colorful bird found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Eating these birds can be dangerous, as they contain a toxin called cresotinic acid, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. 

13. Pelicans

Pelicans are large seabirds found around the world. Eating these birds is not recommended as they contain a chemical called dioxin, which can be toxic to humans and cause serious health problems. 


We now come to insects, which many people don’t like eating, but they’re typically pretty healthy for you – expect for the ones listed right below, of course.

14. Firefly

Fireflies are a type of beetle that emit a chemical called lucibufagins, which can be toxic if ingested. Eating these bugs can cause nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. 

15. Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterflies are a species of butterfly found in North America. Eating these butterflies can be dangerous as they contain a toxin called cardenolides, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

16. Bees 

Bees are some of the most common insects that can be poisonous to eat. All bee stings contain venom, but the venom of honeybees contains the most powerful toxins. 

Symptoms of a bee sting include pain, swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the sting. In some people, a bee sting can cause a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, which can be fatal if not treated immediately. 

17. Wasps 

Wasps are another type of insect that can be poisonous to eat. Unlike bees, wasps do not lose their stingers and can sting multiple times. Wasps have a potent venom, and the symptoms of a wasp sting are similar to that of a bee sting. 

The venom can cause anaphylaxis in some people, so if you have been stung or suspect you may have been exposed, seek medical attention immediately. 

18. Hornets 

Hornets are a type of wasp with a very powerful venom. They are larger than bees and can inflict a much more painful sting. The symptoms of a hornet sting are similar to that of a bee or wasp sting, but can also include nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. 

In some cases, a hornet sting can cause anaphylaxis and can be fatal if not treated promptly.


Finally, we have a list of amphibians that you should steer clear of.

19. Poison Dart Frog

Poison dart frogs are brightly colored amphibians found in Central and South America. These frogs produce a toxin called batrachotoxin, which can cause serious health problems such as paralysis, respiratory arrest, and even death. 

20. Salamanders

Salamanders are amphibians found in many parts of the world, including North America and Europe. Eating these amphibians can be dangerous as they contain a toxin called tetrodotoxin, which can cause paralysis and even death. 

Final Words

So, what animals are poisonous to eat? There are many animals that can be potentially harmful if eaten. 

It is important to always research the type of animal before consuming it, as some of these creatures contain toxins that can be fatal to humans.

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