Articles on Snakes

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An anaconda peers above and below the water. Did snakes evolve on land or underwater? Michael Lee (Flinders University & South Australian Museum)

Did snakes evolve from ancient sea serpents?

One of the enduring controversies in evolution is why snakes evolved their long, limbless bodies. A new study suggests snakes may have lost their legs at sea, before crawling ashore.
Gerry meets Kaulback’s pit viper, which could be one of the most lethal snakes in India. Inset picture: Wolfgang Wüster.

Scientists at work: tackling India’s snakebite problem

Each year, 45,000 people die from snakebite in India. A big international project has now set out to reduce this by hunting down and documenting dangerously venomous snakes.
Most snakebite deaths, and most hospital admissions, are due to brown snakes. Flagstaffotos

Explainer: what should you do if you’re bitten by a snake?

In October 2014, a 41-year-old man in the goldfields region of Western Australia collapsed and died within an hour of being bitten by the brown snake he was trying to capture. While such deaths are infrequent…
Speaks with a forked tongue. pcoin

Explainer: why do snakes flick their tongues?

Many people think a snake’s forked tongue is creepy. Every so often, the snake waves it around rapidly, then retracts it. Theories explaining the forked tongues of snakes have been around for thousands…
The inland taipan is world famous for its venom. Stewart Macdonald

Why are some snakes so venomous?

Australia is world famous for its venomous critters, including its many highly venomous snakes. The snake that holds the popular title of “world’s most venomous” is the inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus…

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