Special Sub-Topic: Fangs for the Memories
|Which of the following African snakes is usually credited with having the longest fangs in the serpent world?|
Gaboon viper. Found in the Sub-Saharan areas of Africa, the Gaboon viper, has not only the longest fangs but is credited with injecting the largest amount of venom per bite. The Gaboon viper can grow to 6 ft. (1.8m) long.and is a very heavy viper. Bites from this serpent are not common due to the fact that they prefer rain-forest areas and are relatively docile, in spite of the impressive size of their fangs. The hemotoxic venom from this snake can cause delirium, convulsions, intense pain, necrosis, loss of motor control and uncontrolled bleeding. Without the administration of anti-venom death will occur. Long recovery periods, permanent heart damage and amputation are common side-effects of a bite from this mighty viper.
|Found in southeastern areas of the USA, what is the more common name for the venomous pit viper "agkistrodon picivorus"?|
Water Moccasin. The scientific name for the water moccasin, "agkistrodon picivorus" gives a lot of clues about this venomous snake. In Greek, the first word means hooked-tooth, and the second means fish-eater. Also known as a cottonmouth, this is the only semi-aquatic viper found on the planet. While it prefers small rodents, frogs, and fish, if it feels threatened it will open it mouth very widely exposing both its fangs, and the white interior from which it derives its nickname. Its long fangs are capable of delivering a painful bite that can cause pain, nausea, vomiting, swelling around the bite and in extreme cases necrosis and death. Most deaths from this snakebite are actually caused by anaphylactic shock caused by an allergic reaction to the anti-venom.
|What is the most common venomous snake in Europe?|
Common adder. The only one of the choices that makes its home in Europe is the common adder "Vipera berus". This adaptable snake lives in a variety of terrains and can be found in most of western Europe all the way to eastern regions of Asia. It hunts small birds, lizards, frogs, and when needed will also eat worms, spiders and insects. This snake is known to be unaggressive and most bites are in self-defence. The venom deliver by this snakes sharp fangs is usually not fatal unless the victim has pre-existing conditions, or is weak, very young, or very old. At least seven different anti-venoms exist for this snake and are readily available throughout most of Europe. Symptoms include pain, swelling, tingling, nausea, vomiting and bruising. If bitten by this snake, medical attention should be obtained immediately. If left untreated, the bite from this snake can kill, usually from cardiovascular failure.
|The black mamba is the longest snake in Africa and while imposing, it is only mildly toxic.|
False. The black mamba is the longest venomous snake on the continent of Africa and its fangs deliver some of the most toxic venom of any snake on the planet. This frightening snake has been known to grow as long as 14.6 ft (4.45m) and is known for its aggressiveness. This snake is known to bite repeatedly if it feels threatened. The neurotoxic venom is so powerful that it can kill an elephant. Before an anti-venom was available the bite from a black mamba was a death sentence. Death could occur as quickly as 20 minutes and could take as long as three hours. Within ten minutes of being bitten cardiovascular, neurological and respiratory symptoms would begin to manifest themselves. Paralysis, convulsions, abdominal pain, vomiting and excessive salivation would occur. Death occurs from the paralysis of respiratory muscles. Sadly, anti-venom is not always available and death from the bite of a black mamba is not uncommon.
|The eastern brown snake can be hard to identify for which of the following reasons?|
They come in a variety of color and designs. Native to Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, the eastern brown snake is also called the Australian brown snake. Among the most venomous snakes in the world, this snake cam be tan, silver, yellow, black, gray or orange. To make identification even harder in can have a variety of designs including bands, spots, and speckles. It is diurnal and usually does not exceed 6.5 ft (2m in length. The venom of this snake is a neurotoxin that contains anticoagulant components which can lead to profuse bleeding if medical treatment is not obtained. Other symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, paralysis, convulsions, and cardiac arrest. Although this snake uses a small amount of toxin in each bite, the toxin is so powerful that without medical treatment a serious bite can result in death withing 24 hours.
|In which of the following continents would I most likely be if I ran into a spitting cobra in the wild?|
Africa. This special group of snakes come in 12 species all of which have an adaption which allows then to "spit" their venom as far as 6.6 ft (2m). They are indigenous to areas of Africa and Asia. Their venom can cause permanent blindness, but is harmless to uninjured skin. Muscular contractions squeeze the venom glands exerting great pressure and allowing the serpent to spit in a defensive manner. All species f spitting cobra are also able to deliver their venom in a regular snake bite. Their toxin has neurotoxic, cytotoxic and hemotoxic effects. A serious bite from a spitting cobra can cause pain, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, coagulopathy, muscle necrosis and death.
|Which of the following is a type of snake that appears on the unofficial flag of the Caribbean Island of Martinique?|
Fer-de-lance. All of these terms are French, but Fer-de-lance, which means "iron of the lance" (commonly spear point or spear head), is a type of venomous snake found on Martinique. The Bothrops lanceolatus is usually considered endemic to this Caribbean island and is usually not found on any of the other surrounding islands. With average size fangs this snake can administer a death sentence with its bite. Symptoms include pain, free bleeding, necrosis, paralysis and myocardial infarction. Even if you survive a bite from this snake you may be left blind, suffer the affects of stroke, have convulsions, or have serious cardiac issues.
|Many herpetologists claim that which south-east Asian snake kills more people every year than any other snake on the planet?|
Russel's viper. Russel's viper, also known as a Daboia, is one of the planet's deadliest snakes. There are many reasons for this. This aggressive and somewhat nervous snake lives in populated areas and is often found inside homes and other buildings. They look similar to the non-venomous python and are very well camouflaged. Once bitten, the victim will experience pain, localised swelling, dizziness, kidney failure and bleeding from the gums and in the urine. Early treatment with anti-venom is a must, if the person is to survive. Death can take from days to weeks and is usually caused by multi-organ failure. The Russel's viper has average size fangs but delivers a large quantity of venom in each bite. And their willingness to share this venom with others leads to it's reputation as one of the planets most deadly snakes. None of the other options are indigenous to Asia.
|Which of these indigenous snakes should you never attempt to put into a wooden shipping box if you ran into one while visiting the bustling island of Hong Kong?|
Banded krait. The only one of the listed options that you would find in Hong Kong is the banded krait. The other three are indigenous to South America. This serpent is found in parts of South-East Asia including India, Thailand, Java, China and the island of Hong Kong. Sightings of this snake are rare in Hong Kong as it is shy, nocturnal, and usually reluctant to bite. Mortality rates from the bite of a Banded Krait have dropped significantly since the creation of an anti-venom. This snake can grow over 6ft (2.1m) long and have distinctive yellow and black stripes. A bite from the fangs of this snake delivers a neurotoxin that will cause vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness and rarely respiratory failure.
|Pythons, which kill by constricting their prey, have no teeth or fangs of any kind.|
False. While none of the seven species of pythons are venomous, they all have dentition. The bite from a python can be very painful and a tetanus shot is needed if you are bitten. A severe bite can require stitches. They use their fangs to hold their prey both before, during, and after constriction and while swallowing. The teeth curve backwards to ensure that once they bite something it cannot get away.
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