August 1, 2011 - We just returned from a vacation in the mountains of Tennessee. We were trying to find some relief from the heat but it was just as hot there as it is here in SC! This photo was taken at the Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg. The beautiful and unusual Lionfish is a venomous marine fish found mostly in the Indo-Pacific.
Lionfish (Pterosis) are known for their venomous tentacles, a feature that is uncommon among marine fish in the East Coast coral reefs. The potency of their venom makes them excellent predators and dangerous to fishermen and divers. Pterois venom produced negative inotropic and chronotropic effects when tested in both frog and clam hearts and has a depressing effect on rabbit blood pressure. These results are thought to be due to nitric oxide release. In humans, Pterois venom can cause systemic effects such as vomiting, fever and sweating and has been lethal in a few cases. (Taken from Wikipedia).