Although most people are aware that venomous animals exists and cause significant problems to people should a person become stung or bitten, the mechanisms for how these venoms operate is poorly understood for many venomous plants and animals. Because of this lack of understanding on how venoms operate, the treatment for envenomed victims is often suboptimal.
Although everyone is aware of venomous animals, most do not know that they are not a small component of the animal kingdom, but can be found in close to 50% of the major animal phyla. Interestingly, if venoms are evolutionary successful than it would appear logical that all animals should have venoms, while conversely if venoms are unsuccessful, there should be a selective pressure against their retention. As neither of these occur, there must be trades off for having (or not having) venom.