Venomous or poisonous?

Toad drool, raven feathers, viper venom … as Halloween approaches, witches and warlocks are hovering over their kettles as they brew up all kinds of potions! However, to obtain their coveted elixir, they must first find out which ingredients are right for their purpose. Would you be able to take on the role of apprentice-witch or warlock and find out how venomous organisms differ from other poisonous ones? Let’s have some fun!

Venomous and poisonous organisms have one thing in common: they both transfer toxic substances (poison) to others. This transfer can be active (a bite or a sting) or passive (by ingestion or simple contact).

In the case of venom, for example snakes and spiders, toxins are actively transferred, therefore, they are called venomous animals. As for mushrooms and actually a majority of plants, they are simply called poisonous organisms because the toxic transfer is passive; we either ingest it or we come in contact with it somehow (skin contact for example).

Often defined as a defence mechanism, venom is first used to immobilize the victim and/or to begin its ingestion; some venomous cocktails can paralyze and even initiate tissue destruction.

Among well-known venomous creatures there is the Australian taipan snake. One dose of its venom can kill over 100,000 mice!

The Black Widow Spider, recognizable by its red hourglass-shape markings on its black abdomen, produces a venom which can cause a person to develop severe headaches, muscle spasms and nausea; however, it’s rarely deadly.

(Image: Australian taipan snake)

So, dear witches and warlocks, on Halloween, to give some bite to your concoctions, will you be tempted by a poisonous amanita (mushroom) or perhaps a little cobra venom?



A good place for family outing with zoo, water park and rides all at one place. All the attractions are conveniently placed very close to each other. Food court is good too and you can also bring in your lunch.

Anand Bharadwaj Aryasomayajula

We love going to the zoo. (…) Most of the animals were out and the grandkids were thrilled. I'd never been to the Dinozoo before and I thought it was pretty cool especially with the movement and sounds. The design is great in that it's seperated and all goes back to the center.

Stephen Eyton-Jones

Amazing place. Perfect for the whole family. They constantly improve their environments and animals collection.

Boris Kosov

We had an excellent time! We have not been in over 10 years and are so glad we went! The park is clean. The food was well priced for a theme park. We loved the Dinozoo! We have terrible French speaking abilities but appreciated your courteous and friendly staff, we felt welcome!

Bonnie Diane

Our whole family attended yesterday. It was absolutely spectacular. We had a fantastic time! Thanks for the memories!

Samantha Hope

What a great time. Would definitely go again. The zoo care takers are amazing at what they do and so friendly. I would recommend if you have never gone it's a bucket list. Oh and don't forget to go and pet the sting rays.

Jamie Krichtoff

First time visiting here on our annual summer week in Québec. We went for the 2 day family pass, and had an amazing time. The 2 days allowed us to take our time around the park, and gave plenty of time as well for cooling off at the Amazoo. We'll definitely come back!

JR Bélanger

I had an amazing time here with my family! My kids absolutely loved it. Amazing experience :)

Mario Sevo

Amazing place to take the family! Lots of animals to see, amazing water park and fun rides. Great packages available with hotels close by for out of town visitors. Highly recommend!

Paul Winch

It's the 3rd year in a row that my family and I visit this Zoo. Even though it was during the busiest day they had this year, we were able to visit everything and fully enjoy the experience. Don't forget to bring your bathing suit cause they have an amazing wave pool!

Éric Trudel

Our family absolutely enjoyed our day! There was so much to do! Park was very clean and staff was very friendly and helpful with any questions!!! We plan on going next year and making it a weekend trip so that we can enjoy the whole park!

Crystal Wilson