One day I saw a giant sea turtle bite my sister. We were snorkeling in Hawaii and were suddenly in the midst of a number of turtles. They were feeding on seaweed. I looked over at my sister, and saw her beaming at a turtle from a respectful distance. Unnoticed by her, another turtle had appeared behind her, much closer. All was well until the swells pushed them together, causing her to bump gently against the turtle. Annoyed, the turtle extended its beak and bit my sister.
Right on the wetsuit.
She didn't notice the nip. When I told her about it later, she was chagrined to have missed this wildlife experience.
Another day I was visiting tidepools on the California coast with a friend. We found a small, sullen, pink octopus lurking in some eelgrass. I scooped it out to look at it. It tried to slide away, but I moved my hands so that it just kept oozing into the next hand. Then I arranged for it to ooze into George's hands. After he had admired it, he eased it back into the tidepool where we had found it.
Just as he had lowered it into the water and was taking his hands away he exclaimed, “It bit me!” There was a small red dot near the base of a finger. Instantly a stranger materialized at our backs. “Their bite is venomous,” he remarked and strolled away.
That was a horrid moment. (Meanwhile the octopus had emitted a gratuitous cloud of ink and departed.) I am happy to report that this species of octopus (which must have been either Octopus rubescens or Octopus bimaculoides) is not very venomous. “Like a bee sting,” George said afterward. He survived to brag of being bitten by an octopus, which is more than I can do.
However, I was once bitten by a snake. It made two little holes in my finger.
This was a long time ago when I was a nature-struck youth. It was a garter snake, and I can't imagine why it bit me unless it was because I had been chasing it across a empty lakebed, and had grabbed it when it took refuge in the bottom of a mud puddle, and was in the process of thrusting it into a bag.
I feel remorseful about this. However, the snake was not too traumatized to eat several small toads that were also in the bag. This while the bag was dangling from the handlebars of a bicycle as I madly pedaled for home. Nor was the snake too weakened to force its way out of the charming fish tank I had furnished for it to live in, the one with a heavy slab of glass on top, which the snake elbowed aside when it departed before a day had passed.