Venoms are complex secretions used for predatory and defensive purposes by a wide range of organisms. Venoms and venom production represent fascinating systems to study fundamental evolutionary processes. Understanding the evolution of venom generation demands the integration of the selective interactions and mechanisms, which transformed ordinary genes into deadly toxins, in the context of the natural history of the producing organism. Humans are not prey for any extant venomous creature on Earth, and thus human envenomings result from unexpected encounters with venomous animals, e.g., snakes. Research on snake venoms conducted on mammalian prey from an ecologically informed perspective is conceptually transferable to the clinic, highlighting the mutually enlightening relationship between evolutionary and translational venomics.

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