Snakes

all 11 articles

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…
Feared for a good reason. viperskin

The five most poisonous substances: from polonium to mercury

With the announcement of an inquiry into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, talk of poisons is back in the news. There are many articles with lists of the most poisonous substances, which are often gathered…
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…
“There is a dire need for new and more effective drugs to improve the quality of life of people with pain.” sedeer

Black mamba snake venom could hold the key to new pain therapies

One of the world’s most poisonous snakes might hold the key to new pain therapies in its venom. As ironic as that sounds, a protein component in black mamba venom called “mambalgin” has been shown – in…

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