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Envenomation is the process by which venom is injected into some animal by the bite (or sting) of a venomous animal. Many kinds of animals, including mammals (e.g., the northern short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda), reptiles (e.g., the king cobra), spiders (e.g., black widows), and insects (e.g., wasps, honey bees, ants and caterpillars), employ venom for hunting and for self-defense. Most venoms are administered by biting the skin of the victim, but some venoms are applied externally, especially to sensitive tissues such as those that surround the eyes. In some reptiles, such as the Gila monster, venom in the saliva enters prey through bites of grooved teeth, but many animals have specialized organs such as hollow teeth (fangs) and tubular stingers that penetrate the prey's skin after which muscles attached to the attacker's venom reservoir forcibly squirt venom deep within the victim's body tissue. Death may occur as a result of bites or stings.
Various antivenom treatments exist, typically consisting of antibodies or antibody fragments, which neutralize the venom.