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Trachinus Draco I can hear you thinking: a fish as a dragon? Well, yes, and this fish is also a very dangerous dragon. This dragon is the Trachinus Draco, a little sandy colored fish who likes to swim along the Atlantic coast, in the North Sea, in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
Most of the time hides himself under the seabed while only his fin and an eye showing above the bottom and that is why he is such a dangerous dragon. As a matter of fact, it in one the most dangerous European animals.
He protects himself by poisonous organs, thorns near the gills that can prick and he can suddenly attack. Contact with those poisonous organs can cause great pain because the smallest quantities of the poison can cause serious symptoms.
"Cruel spines defend some fishes, as the Goby fond
Of sands and rocks, the scorpion, swallows fleet,
Dragons and Dog fish, from their prickly mail
well named the spinous. These in the punctures sharp,
A fatal poison from their spines inject." (Oppian)
Danger and treatment
The greater weever is a dangerous fish due to its very toxic poison which is injected by the spine on the operculum and the spines of the first dorsal fin. The sting produces very intense pain followed by numbness and swelling around the sting. Other symptoms are often present including breathing difficulties, sweating, troubled sight, dizzyness, paralysis of the limb concerned or convulsions.
In the case of a sting: help the person to get out of the sea, lay them down placing the affected limb in a raised position and heat the wound with an incandescent cigarette (without burning the person) as the poison is destroyed by heat. Another solution is to soak the limb in water which is as hot as possible containing a little Dakin antiseptic or mild bleach solution for twenty minutes. If the pain is too intense take the person to a medical centre.
It should be noted that the poison remains dangerous even when the fish is dead.