JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

[Dangerous marine animals]

G Antensteiner
Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift 1999, 151 (5-6): 104-10
11315406
Sea-biological basic knowledge for divers is offered only in special lessons for advanced scuba divers. According to statistics, however, five per cent of the deadly diving accidents are caused by underwater organisms. This number could be reduced to a fraction, by correct behaviour during the dive and after an accident. The most frequent accidents with sea animals during water sports are not by unprovoked shark attacks, which cause six deaths world-wide per year on the average, but turn out with usually well camouflaged sea inhabitants, that do not attack humans, rather by their inadvertence coincidentally get in contact with it. The various defense instruments of the often small, inconspicuous organisms reach from teeth over poison stings, pricks, spines, scalpelles, nettle injections and chemical weapons up to poison arrows. Due to that variety of the maritime life, the most important representatives of its type are explained including severity level of the caused injury or contamination. Both, diagnostic position and therapy possibility are described as follows: 1. Porifera (sponge), 2. Hydrozoa (white weed, yellow flower head), Actinaria (sea anemones), 3. Conidae (cone shells), Tridocna (giant clam), octopoda (octopus), 4. Acanthaster planci (crown of thorns), Echinodea (sea urchins), Holothurioidea (sea cucumber), 5. Selachoidei (shark), Batoidei (Ray), Muraenidae (moray), Plotosidae (barbel eels), Synanciidae (stonefish), Scorpaenidae (scorpionfish), Pterois (lion fish), Sphyraena Spec. (barracuda), Balistidae (triggerfish), Ostracionidae (puffer).

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