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Author: Subject: Pure Gasses You Can Make... Any Ideas?
Hexavalent
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[*] posted on 17-7-2013 at 13:13


See above, papaya. N2O is the aforementioned "laughing gas".

Most of your are probably aware of this, but the helium cylinders sold to inflate balloons often contain a considerable amount of oxygen, to reduce the risk of hypoxia when people inevitably inhale the gas.

[Edited on 17-7-2013 by Hexavalent]




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[*] posted on 17-7-2013 at 13:48


WET I meant, that was answered
2 (NH2)2CO + 2 HNO3 + H2SO4 -> 2 N2O + 2 CO2 + (NH4)2SO4 + 2 H2O

very interesting, thanks!
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[*] posted on 17-7-2013 at 14:04


Quote: Originally posted by Hexavalent  

Most of your are probably aware of this, but the helium cylinders sold to inflate balloons often contain a considerable amount of oxygen.


I have never heard that before, the lead seller of helium in America, airgas, sells it as 99% Helium - Balloon gas. Also IIRC helium is added to oxygen tanks to dilute the Oxygen in diver tanks. The only reason I know this is because I have a helium tank meant for balloons. I am sure you could request a mix but wouldnt the weight of oxygen effect balloon buoyancy?




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[*] posted on 17-7-2013 at 15:12


Bleach and ammonia will form a mix of nitrogen and chloramine gases.

Bleach (hypochlorite) and hydrogen peroxide will form oxygen.

Bleach and acid (usually hydrochloric) will form chlorine.

Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and acid will form carbon dioxide.

Aluminum foil and sodium hydroxide solution (lye) will form hydrogen. Iron and hydrochloric acid will also form hydrogen.

Concentrated sulfuric acid can easily dehydrate isopropyl alcohol to propylene gas.

Sodium sulfite and acid gives off sulfur dioxide. Sodium nitrite and dilute acid gives off nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, only nitrogen dioxide if here is an equal amount of nitrate in the solution.

[Edited on 17-7-2013 by AndersHoveland]
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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 03:58


I can add more gases to my list, but making these is somewhat more involved, more risky, or requires more work.

SiH4: Mix powdered SiO2 (very fine white sand will do) and powdered Mg in a stoichiometric ratio SiO2 : Mg = 1 : 4 and heat strongly until reaction occurs. Orange glow goes through test tube. Break apart test tube and after cooling collect blue/grey solid. Add this solid to dilute HCl. Collect the gas under water, it ignites in contact with air.

CH4: Strongly heat a mix of sodium hydroxide and anhydrous sodium acetate (in a 1 : 1 ratio by weight). Methane gas is produced from this mix. Beware, this mix attacks glass of test tubes.

NH3: Prepare a mix of NH4Cl and NaOH and add a few drops of water to the mix to get it started. Quite some heat is produced and gaseous NH3 escapes from the mix.

HBr: Heat some H3PO4 (85%) until most of the water has boiled away. To the still hot acid add some solid NaBr or KBr and gently keep heating. HBr is produced at a slow rate.

N2: Dissolve some NaNO2 in water. Dissolve some NH4Cl or (NH4)2SO4 or NH4NO3 in water and mix the two solutions. Heat the mix. Pure nitrogen gas is evolved.

N2O: Dissolve some NaNO2 in water. Dissolve some [NH3OH]Cl or (NH3OH)2SO4 in water and mix the two solutions. Heat the mix. Pure N2O gas is evolved.

ONCl: Add some solid NaNO2 to 30% HCl (not 37%, because at that high concentration the NaNO2 is covered by an insoluble crust of NaCl). Orange ONCl is produced. Most of it, however, remains in solution, it is not really easy to get this in a concentrated gaseous state.

CH2O: Add a lot of solid NaOH to 35+ % formaldehyde. The CH2O is 'salted out' and escapes as gas bubbles from the liquid.



Some gases which I want to produce, but did not yet find a decent way with reagents available to me:
- CH3Cl (simply adding dry HCl to CH3OH does not seem to work).
- ON-CN (nitrosyl cyanide, a blue gas)
- CH2=CH2 (dehydration of ethanol in sulphuric acid? But this produces a mix of all kinds of stuff when not well controlled, or am I wrong?)
- CH2=CHCl
- NH2Cl (mixing bleach and NH3 gives very impure product, mostly N2 and also some N2H4-vapor).

[Edited on 18-7-13 by woelen]




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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 07:53


Thanks Woelen and AndersHoveland! That was the kind of information I was looking for... Simple procedures I can use with household materials. Looks like I will be needing some hydrochloric and sulfuric acid though for some of the stuff.... I think hydrochloric and formic acid are the same thing, and I had wanted some formic acid for ant experiments anyway. Might get away with buying some of that.

If there were only like 5 chemicals you could buy for a wide range of experiments, what would they be? I have seen a lot of stuff with hydrochloric acid and potassium chloride.... I don't want to buy anything that will get me in jail, but there might be some stuff I can react with electricity to make even more different chemicals. Might start my chemistry set by buying some Hydrochloric acid unless you have other suggestions.
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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 07:55


Quote: Originally posted by PickledPackratParalysis  
I think hydrochloric and formic acid are the same thing, and I had wanted some formic acid for ant experiments anyway.
This is absolutely incorrect! I think your confusing the antiquated name for <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrochloric_acid" target="_blank">hydrochloric acid</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" /> (<u>muriatic</u> acid) with the IUPAC name for <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formic_acid" target="_blank">formic acid</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" />, <u>mehtanoic</u> acid&mdash;both four syllables, start with m-, end in -ic . You'll have to get used to chemical names that look or sound nearly identical (e.g. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrocyanide" target="_blank">ferr<u>o</u>cyanide</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" /> vs. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferricyanide" target="_blank">ferr<u>i</u>cyanide</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" />, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrate" target="_blank">nitr<u>a</u>te</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" /> vs. <a href="" target="_blank">nitr<u>i</u>te</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" />;). Mistakes are common and overlooked by the general public, but can be lethal in the lab. In chemistry, every character matters! I know it's a lot to absorb all at once, but learning good habits early on will save you a lot of future headaches.

[Edited on 7/18/13 by bfesser]




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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 08:34


Quote: Originally posted by PickledPackratParalysis  

If there were only like 5 chemicals you could buy for a wide range of experiments, what would they be?


These are the first 5 chemicals I bought to start my lab: Acids/Bases mostly

1. Nitric Acid 70%
2. Sulfuric Acid 99%
3. Hydrochloric Acid 31.45%
4. Hydrogen Peroxide 35%
5. Sodium Hydroxide Flakes

I already had numerous solvents from my job, acetone, MEK, MIBK, chloroform, dichloromethane...many more.

The first experiments I did involved metals and acids/bases, I was into copper salts for a while there. Now I have probably over 100 different lab grade reagents, some very rare.




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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 08:52


Personally, if I were a complete beginner I would purchase;

-Sulfuric acid
-Hydrochloric acid
-Copper sulfate
-Sodium bicarbonate
-Sodium hydroxide

These allow for a wide variety of experiments - preparing salts, observing precipitates, starting to predict reactions, learning to take observations (exotherms, etc.), which are ideal for the beginning chemist.




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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 10:41


Thanks guys! I don't want to get anything too dangerous all at once (parents would get worried) but I'm pretty sure they sell at least one, and possibly both hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid at the auto parts store as battery acid... or maybe that was muriatic (formic) acid. Don't know, but a lot of the experiments I want to do involve the effects of chemicals/gasses on bugs, invertabrates of different kinds, etc... Formic acid is what ant trails are mostly made of, and ants follow it, and if there's a lot of it the smell drives them into an attack frenzy. I wanted to try gassing some bugs with various gasses and see what kind of strange behaviors they exhibit. First I need to find out what concentration of the gas would be effective... For CO2 it would most likely take a majority of the atmosphere to effect insects... Chlorine or chloramine would probably work at small concentrations. Maybe they would even do something cool in an atmosphere of nearly pure oxygen.
Anyway, it looks like I have a few things to try and some chemicals to try to get.
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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 10:56


Battery acid is ~35% sulfuric acid, which is ideal for a beginner. It's formula is H2SO4.
Hydrochloric acid is sold as spirits of salt or muriatic acid in hardware stores. It's formula is HCl.
Formic acid is sold as descaling liquid. It's formula is HCOOH.

I would suggest you avoid experimenting on animals, though, and even I, and many other experienced chemists, would not work with chloramine by choice. It is extremely toxic, and the reaction between bleach and hydrochloric acid can produce it, and hydrazine, in plentiful amounts. Both are extremely poisonous, potentially carcinogenic, and generally nasty: I would highly recommend you do not attempt to prepare it, let alone experiment with it.

As a beginner with clearly very little experience, I'd advise you to start with basic aqueous inorganic chemistry: the copper sulfate I mentioned is a nice starting material, as many other compounds can be prepared from it with simple chemicals, exploring various chemical reactions and processes.

[Edited on 18-7-2013 by Hexavalent]




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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 11:35


A very good way to reduce risks to almost non-existent is buying a pile of test tubes and do your experiments on a test tube scale. Just use a few milliliters of liquids, dissolve small spatulas of solids in distilled water and mix these. Even if a very toxic gas like Cl2 or NH2Cl is formed in such cases the risk of killing or maiming yourself is virtually non-existent. Working outside is another good thing to start with.

Buying just 5 chemicals is too little. You need more if you want some interesting experimenting, but to start with, these chemicals can be purchased OTC in a supermarket or drugstore. Some to think of are:
- bleach (5% active chlorine)
- ammonia (5% ammonia)
- sodium carbonate
- sodium bicarbonate
- potassium metabisulfite (look at wine making companies, Campden tablets or powder)
- butane gas (cigarette lighter is OK, just press the button while the thing is under water, bubbles of butane rise up to the surface)
- iron powder
- aluminium tubes (using a file or fine saw to make coarse powder of this)
- cleaning vinegar (appr. 10% acetic acid)

Next, purchase the following somewhat more common chemicals:
- hydrochloric acid
- sulphuric acid
- sodium hydroxide
- copper sulfate
- hydrogen peroxide (3%)

With these chemicals you already can do quite a few nice experiments and you do not have to spend a small fortune to obtain them.




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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 11:42


Quote: Originally posted by PickledPackratParalysis  
. or maybe that was muriatic (formic) acid.


You made the same mistake that bfesser just tried to explain to you. Muriatic acid IS NOT formic acid. Maybe you had misunderstood him that's why I am being very blunt about it. We try not to let mistakes go unnoticed on this forum because with chemistry it can be deadly. Please be careful.

Hydrochloric acid is Muriatic Acid and the formula is HCl
Formic acid is Methanoic Acid and the formula is HCOOH or HCO2H
You can see they are completely different.

[Edited on 7-18-2013 by chemcam]




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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 12:18


Thanks for noticing that, <strong>chemcam</strong>. I swear, some people's children&hellip;

<table><tr><td colspan="2" align="center"><strong>PickledPackratParalysis:</strong></td></tr><tr><td align="center">hydrochloric acid</td><td align="center">methanoic acid</td></tr><tr><td align="center">HCl</td><td align="center">H<sub>2</sub>CO<sub>2</sub></td></tr><td><img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b1/Hydrogen-chloride-3D-vdW.png" height="100" /></td><td><img src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b2/Formic-acid-3D-vdW.png" height="100" /></td></tr><tr><td align="center">'muriatic' acid</td><td align="center">'formic' acid</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" align="center"><em><strong><marquee>NOT THE SAME THING!</marquee></strong></em></td></tr></table>
P.S. <em>Please stop calling it 'muriatic acid'.</em>

[Edited on 7/18/13 by bfesser]




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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 12:37


Quote: Originally posted by Hexavalent  
I would suggest you avoid experimenting on animals, though)(...)


Why, if he's using insects? They're so neurologically undeveloped creatures that we can eliminate the notion of suffering.
If he understands that, his desire to experiment with dousing bugs with various gases and vapors is completely normal and nonviolent.

It would be bad (for him) if he thought they were suffering and enjoyed it, and bad for them if they actually suffered.
It's not like he's going to use reptiles, birds, mammals, which do suffer, especially mammals with their developed neocortex.
For the record, the only mammal I approve an amateur should experiment on is the amateur experimenter himself, if he knows what he's doing. There is a variety of things one can do, qualitative and quantitative, and it can be done in a safe manner.
There are also unsafe experiments, but they aren't unethical, just irresponsible.

So, if he wants to blast some ants with weak formic acid vapors to see them "freak out", or douse some butterflies with chloroform or ethyl acetate, he should totally go for it.
One thing I don't recommend is making a cyanide killing jar. That can totally end with a tragedy.



ps: I agree with bfesser, these ancient names are irritating. This is a place to discuss chemistry, not alchemistry.
I seriously can't believe that even today, you can buy mineral acids called "spirits of something", like it's Halloween 24/7. :D
Ah, the wonders of English language. :)

ps 2: before actually buying things like formic acid, one must know the difference between hydrochloric acid and formic acid. I was unpleasantly surprised to read that thing earlier.

[Edited on 18-7-2013 by Endimion17]




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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 12:47


Quote: Originally posted by Endimion17  
. . . or douse some butterflies with chloroform or ethyl acetate, he should totally go for it.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop the train right there! I was agreeing with you right up to this. I don't advocate senselessly killing <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly" target="_blank">butterflies</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" />. Many lepidoptera species are <a href="http://www.iucnredlist.org/" target="_blank">critically endangered</a> <img src="../scipics/_ext.png" /> and protected by international law. I count nine <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_endangered_species_in_North_America#Insects_and_arachnids" target="_blank">species</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" /> in North America alone. Unless he's a professional <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepidopterist" target="_blank">lepidopterist</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" />&mdash;which I <em>really</em> doubt&mdash;he could cause extinction events! Besides, when's the last time a colony of butterflies invaded your house? Think of the poor innocent butterflies.

[Edited on 7/19/13 by bfesser]




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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 13:29


Quote: Originally posted by bfesser  
he could cause extinction events!

No, he couldn't. Think about it - a few people experimenting on butterflies are completely irrelevant for the survival of an insect species. Real factors are the destruction of the natural habitat, environmental/climatic changes, etc.
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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 13:41


Quote: Originally posted by bfesser  
Quote: Originally posted by Endimion17  
. . . or douse some butterflies with chloroform or ethyl acetate, he should totally go for it.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop the train right there! I was agreeing with you right up to this. I don't advocate senselessly killing <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly" target="_blank">butterflies</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" />. Many lepidoptera species are <a href="http://www.iucnredlist.org/" target="_blank">critically endangered</a> <img src="../scipics/_ext.png" /> and protected by international law. I count nine <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_endangered_species_in_North_America#Insects_and_arachnids" target="_blank">species</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" /> in North America alone. Unless he's a professional <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepidopterist" target="_blank">lepidopterist</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" />&mdash;which I <em>really</em> doubt&mdash;he could cause extinction events! Besides, when's the last time a colony of butterflies invaded your house? Think of the poor innocent butterflies.


Not a professional lepidopterist, but you may be surprised that I have studied insects scientifically ever since I was able to read, and I know what kinds of invertebrates I can get in sufficient quantity without doing ANYTHING WHATSOEVER to the 'big picture' of the ecosystem. I was thinking more along the lines of fruit flies, grasshoppers, and earthworms. I may not be worth a (what beavers make) when it comes to chemistry, but am actually pretty decent when it comes to entomology, botany (especially edible wild plants), and general biology and ecology. I actually have a terrarium with wild reptiles and amphibians some of which I have had 7 years, that I have kept alive by feeding them mostly wild insects/invertebrates...

But I understand that there could be a big issue when confusing similar sounding chemicals. In botany the problem is when someone confuses wild carrot (Daucus carota) with poison hemlock, (Conium maculatum)... They look similar to the noob, but one is good for you and the other kills you within 15 minutes. With a little experience one can tell them apart easily...
So thanks for clearing it up about hydrochloric and formic acid!

<!-- bfesser_edit_tag -->[<a href="u2u.php?action=send&username=bfesser">bfesser</a>: updated my own link in the quote with a better one]

[Edited on 7/19/13 by bfesser]
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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 13:41


Quote: Originally posted by turd  
Quote: Originally posted by bfesser  
he could cause extinction events!

No, he couldn't. Think about it - a few people experimenting on butterflies are completely irrelevant for the survival of an insect species. Real factors are the destruction of the natural habitat, environmental/climatic changes, etc.


Still! It seems a bit sick killing butterflies with chlorine!
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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 13:44


P.S. I think why some ants taste sour is the formic acid in their abdomen... I'll make sure I get some methanoic acid to use rather than HCl though!
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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 13:52


Trying to bring this thread somewhat back on topic:
<strong>PickledPackratParalysis</strong>, do you have any introductory books on chemistry?




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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 15:45


I have "Chemistry" by Myers, Oldham, and Tocci... It's my high school textbook on chemistry and where I got the idea for the electrolysis cell for salt water. Needless to say I barely made a C on that course, so chemistry's not a natural strong point for me... however, I'm into all things scientific, so I decided to try to learn more.
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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 16:15


Quote: Originally posted by bfesser  
Quote: Originally posted by Endimion17  
. . . or douse some butterflies with chloroform or ethyl acetate, he should totally go for it.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop the train right there! I was agreeing with you right up to this. I don't advocate senselessly killing <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly" target="_blank">butterflies</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" />. Many lepidoptera species are <a href="http://www.iucnredlist.org/" target="_blank">critically endangered</a> <img src="../scipics/_ext.png" /> and protected by international law. I count nine <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_endangered_species_in_North_America#Insects_and_arachnids" target="_blank">species</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" /> in North America alone. Unless he's a professional <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepidopterist" target="_blank">lepidopterist</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" />&mdash;which I <em>really</em> doubt&mdash;he could cause extinction events! Besides, when's the last time a colony of butterflies invaded your house? Think of the poor innocent butterflies.

[Edited on 7/18/13 by bfesser]


I'm not advocating a complete disregard for the butterflies. Of course, there are endangered species and that needs to be respected, even though the harm to a population might not be significant from one individual making a collection.
By all means, those laws have to be respected. I'm totally against breaking them.

But non-endangered species? Why the hell not? If he's not a sadist, where's the damage? They don't suffer when being killed, their species isn't in peril... I see no problem with gassing few of them. Do you object to spraying a house fly?

I'm certainly not one of those "gotta catch them all" assholes or senseless people who'd "just gas them all" just because they fly around. Also, I like them and would never kill such creature just because.



Quote: Originally posted by Manifest  
Still! It seems a bit sick killing butterflies with chlorine!


If a person doing it is sane and experiences no sadistic joy thinking he inflicts suffering, it's just curiosity.
There's a well defined boundary here.

Chlorine or permethrin or folded newspapers, it's the same for that small biochemical robot we call a moth. Not only it's completely unaware of itself, it feels no suffering because it has no brain.
Imagine one of those tiny robots that are currently being developed. That's it, only far more superior.

<!-- bfesser_edit_tag -->[<a href="u2u.php?action=send&username=bfesser">bfesser</a>: updated my own link in the quote with a better one]

[Edited on 7/19/13 by bfesser]




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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 16:16


<strong>PickledPackratParalysis</strong>, that's great! I love to hear that young people are still becoming interested in chemistry, even if it hasn't been presented to them as easy or exciting. I've been getting out of chemistry and more into botany and geology myself, lately.

I'd like to suggest <em>General Chemistry</em> by Linus Pauling as the definitive introductory work on the subject. It may not be the easiest, but it's thorough and widely available. I also have a book titled <em>Chemistry: a Cultural Approach</em> by William F. Kieffer. I haven't read it, but it looks like it's <em>very</em> easy.

Three lectures given by Linus Pauling on <em>Valence and Molecular Structure</em>:
<iframe sandbox width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PLH27cxqYTgN5AurY4MKpcc9uk7EzSXAfe" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

[Edited on 7/19/13 by bfesser]




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[*] posted on 18-7-2013 at 17:42


@ bfesser

Thanks for the advice... I didn't watch the whole vid (kinda long) but it does seem interesting. May watch it later when I have more time.

@endimon17

I have experimented with invertebrates several times (No mass extinctions yet)... When I was younger (like 8) I had no regard for vertebrates and their 'higher' consciousness and used to experiment with them... One time I heard that the white liquid toads excrete when threatened was toxic enough to kill a dog. Not having a dog around to try it on :o I grabbed one of my pet lizards and forced it to bite the toad on the poison gland (the two big bumps behind the head). Needless to say it died in seconds.
But don't worry... I usually use invertebrates now. And they are a lot easier to come by than a good lizard! And I still have that toad! I used another lizard to see how big of a prey item she could ingest at once :D next thing I knew there was a tail hanging out of her mouth like a piece of spaghetti.
That toad has even tried to eat the head off my pet box turtle a few times!
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