Animal venoms have evolved to immobilize and kill prey in seconds. Venomous toxins target vital body parts with extreme precision and potency, making them valuable templates to craft new drugs. Pictured, a desert viper preys on a gecko.
The venom of the Brazilian lancehead viper was once used on arrowheads. It was later identified as a potent drug to treat high blood pressure and was the first venom-based drug approved by the FDA, in 1981.