bufotoxin

bufotoxin

[byoo-fuh-tok-sin]
noun Pharmacology.
a toxin obtained from the skin glands of the European toad, Bufa vulgaris.

Origin:
< Neo-Latin, Latin būfo toad + toxin

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bufotoxin

a moderately potent poison secreted in the skin of many anuran amphibians, especially the typical toads (genus Bufo). The milky fluid contains several identifiable components: bufagin, with effects on the heart similar to those of digitalis; bufotenine, a hallucinogen; and serotonin, a vasoconstrictor. The composition of the poison varies with the species of toad. Taken internally, the poison causes severe, even fatal reaction in many predators, but some animals (e.g., hognosed snakes) are not affected. The poison does not normally affect human skin, but it does irritate the eyes and mucous membranes.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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