Dangerous Animals

In his song “Sail away,” Randy Newman sings about how good we have it in America. The land is bounteous and its wild inhabitants are peaceful. “Ain’t no lion or tiger, ain’t no mamba snake, just the sweet watermelon and the buckwheat cake.” Of course, Newman is known for lyrics that intentionally are outrageous contradictions, but in this case, he is mostly right.

North America is blessed with a general paucity of dangerous beasts, and it is very safe to venture into the wilderness and not worry about being eaten or molested by nature, aside from flies and mosquitoes. However, for many, dangerous animals are exciting, and there is much misinformation about the wilds. So, this is the first of a series on the dangerous animals of North America, or at least the ones that often get a bad rap as being dangerous.

I undertook a survey of animals that are known to have caused human death, and worked to separate truth from fiction. Death caused by animals does happen. However, it is a relatively rare event in North America, even if it generates a lot of media interest when it does happen. And the identity of the most dangerous animals might just surprise you. So explore all the dangerous animals.

Posts in the Dangerous Animals Series:

Venom, poison, and toxicity
Number of venomous snakebites a year
Venomous snakes of North America
Mountain Lions

Average number of deaths per year caused by various animals

Average number of deaths per year caused by various animals

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