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Cabinet of Curiosities: Venom Systems and Their Ecological Function in Mammals, with a Focus on Primates

Nocturnal Primate Research Group, Oxford Brookes University, Headington, Oxford OX3 0BP, UK
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Academic Editor: Bryan Grieg Fry
Toxins 2015, 7(7), 2639-2658; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins7072639
Received: 29 April 2015 / Revised: 1 July 2015 / Accepted: 10 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Evolution of Venom Systems)
Venom delivery systems (VDS) are common in the animal kingdom, but rare amongst mammals. New definitions of venom allow us to reconsider its diversity amongst mammals by reviewing the VDS of Chiroptera, Eulipotyphla, Monotremata, and Primates. All orders use modified anterior dentition as the venom delivery apparatus, except Monotremata, which possesses a crural system. The venom gland in most taxa is a modified submaxillary salivary gland. In Primates, the saliva is activated when combined with brachial gland exudate. In Monotremata, the crural spur contains the venom duct. Venom functions include feeding, intraspecific competition, anti-predator defense and parasite defense. Including mammals in discussion of venom evolution could prove vital in our understanding protein functioning in mammals and provide a new avenue for biomedical and therapeutic applications and drug discovery. View Full-Text
Keywords: Nycticebus; primates; Chiroptera; Eulipotyphla; Monotremata; venom delivery system; evolution Nycticebus; primates; Chiroptera; Eulipotyphla; Monotremata; venom delivery system; evolution
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Rode-Margono, J.E.; Nekaris, K.A.-I. Cabinet of Curiosities: Venom Systems and Their Ecological Function in Mammals, with a Focus on Primates. Toxins 2015, 7, 2639-2658.

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