Many animals produced a diversity of venoms and secretions to adapt the changes of environments through the long history of evolution. The components including a large quantity of specific and highly active peptides and proteins have become good research models for protein structure-function and also served as tools and novel clues for illustration of human disease mechanisms. At the same time, they are rich natural resources for new drug development. Through the valuable venomous animal resources of China, researchers at the Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS have carried out animal toxin research over 30 years. This paper reviews the main work conducted on snake venoms, amphibian and insect secretions, and the development from single component to venomics, from biochemical characterization to human disease mechanisms, from crude venom to rational drug design along with a short perspective on future studies.