Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Snakes

Subject: Australian brown snakes (Pseudonaja)

Eastern brown snake

University of Queensland (UQ), Australia:
The "blood nuking" capabilities of adult brown snake venom only come about after an amazing transformation. 
New research led by University of Queensland scientist Associate Professor Bryan Fry has shown the venom of young brown snakes attacks the nervous system, while the venom of older snakes has dangerous effects on the circulatory system. 
"This is because young brown snakes specialize in lizards, then specialize in mammals as adults," Dr. Fry said. 
"Young brown snakes may produce clinical symptoms like that of a death adder, as they seek out and paralyze sleeping lizards. 
"Once older, their venom contains toxins that cause devastating interference with blood clotting, causing rodent prey to become immobilized by stroke.
(Photo Credit: © Stewart Macdonald)