The American Museum of Natural History's 'The Power of Poison' exhibition

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Do you know the power of poison? We went to the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan for its amazing exhibit about poison. It turned out to be a real treat.

We saw a live display on the history of arsenic, a movie about the mystery of a camper who died because he accidentally drank water that was poisoned by a newt, and examples of how poison has been used in children's literature, such as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

Although humans can consume chocolate, it is poisonous to dogs. Salt is needed in our bodies in small quantities, but too much could kill us.

This does not mean that poison is always bad. Poison has become associated with evil, but it also is another tool for survival.

Poison can be useful to humans, especially hunters in some of the jungles of South America. They use the toxins from poison dart frogs, golden poison frogs and other poisonous reptiles in the tips of their spears and arrows.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Scientists believe the source of a golden poison frog's toxin is part of its diet -- soft-winged flower beetles. We learned about other poisonous animals as well.

Another animal that has venom is the Chilean rose tarantula. These arachnids may seem small and harmless, but they certainly aren't. They have hollow fangs to inject their prey with venom. The fangs are hollow so there is space for the venom to pass through the fangs into the prey to kill it for a meal!

You can learn all this and more at "The Power of Poison" exhibit through Aug. 10. Visit

Comments now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

You also may be interested in: