Don’t say it didn’t warn you with all those spikes. This caterpillar is not just called the giant silkworm moth caterpillar — it also goes by a shorter and more frightening name, the assassin caterpillar. Its spines are filled with an anti-coagulent venom so potent it has caused human deaths in South America. Just accidentally brushing against a group of these critters on a tree as you walk past can lead to effects of headache, fever and vomiting and if left untreated, can cause massive internal hemorrhaging, renal failure, and hemolysis. In fact, their venom is so potent they’ve been extensively studied by medical researchers for how to derive a pharmeceutical equivalent for preventing blood clots and other health issues.
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