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Unless you’re a mongoose – this is why it’s not a good idea to stand too close to a snake … I know, good advice you never thought of, right? 🙂


If you have this snake in your boot – you might be headed for boot hill.

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15 February 2014 nature 4 Comments


  • Momoe says:

    Sorry for being so Americentric… ALL of the seriously dangerous snakes in Australia are also elapids!

  • Momoe says:

    Creature fact: 12 of the 28 species of cobras that occur throughout Africa and Asia (Naja) are reported spitters. They aim for their would-be attackers eyes and have ~90% accuracy out to 2m. Their venoms are cytotoxic (leads to swelling and necrosis) as well as neurotoxic (typical of elapid snakes, including cobras and the American coral snakes). Their venoms acts as a severe irritant to intact skin but even a microdroplet in the eyes is instantly incapacitating and if left untreated for even a short period of time can lead to permanent blindness!

    Momoe, PhD

    • Tom says:

      Yikes. To timber rattlers do this?

      • Momoe says:

        No, the fang of the spitting cobras have an opening on the front face of the tooth rather than at the tip (like a hypodermic needle) as is seen in other elapids and the vipers (including all rattlers). Some vipers (eg, Periguey’s Adder from Namibia) are tricky, having the ability to push their fangs out of the side of their mouths rather than bite to envenomate their prey (makes handling them extremely difficult).

        Met – didn’t think this thread was going anywhere, did you?

        (MET: I just thought it was cool photo and a reminder not to stand too close to snakes (d’uh) but now we can say more to the EMT than just ‘I’ve got a snake in my boot.’ 🙂 Thanks!)

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