Letharia Vulpina - Uses - Poison

Poison

The use of this species for poisoning wolves and foxes goes back at least hundreds of years, based on the mention of the practice in Christoph Gedner's "Of the use of curiosity", collected in Benjamin Stillingfleet, Miscellaneous Tracts Relating to Natural History, Husbandry and Physics (London, 1759). According to British lichenologist Annie Lorrain Smith, reindeer carcasses were stuffed with lichen and powdered glass, and suggests that the sharp edges of the glass would make the animals' internal organs more susceptible to the effects of the lichen poison. However, it is known that the lichen itself is also effective—powdered lichen added to fat and inserted into reindeer carcasses will also be fatal to wolves that consume it. The toxic chemical is the yellow dye vulpinic acid, which is poisonous to all meat-eaters, but not to mice and rabbits.

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Famous quotes containing the word poison:

    There is such a thing as food and such a thing as poison. But the damage done by those who pass off poison as food is far less than that done by those who generation after generation convince people that food is poison.
    Paul Goodman (1911–1972)

    I hate the place like poison with a sincere hatred.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940)

    They love not poison that do poison need.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)