RESEARCH: Snakes know how much venom they have and they won’t attack if they don’t have enough

Not all snakes are venomous, but scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Chengdu wanted to know more about venomous snakes.

The researchers studied venomous Sharp-Snouted Pit Vipers (Deinagkistrodon acutus). The New Scientist magazine (22 June 2021) reported the research results.

The aggressive Sharp-Snouted Pit Viper may be able to sense how much venom it has and it won’t attack if it doesn’t have enough venom (poison). 

Previous research indicates that venomous animals, including spiders, scorpions, and snakes, use their venom frugally and carefully because they do not produce a lot of venom. However, previous research did not study the possibility of whether venomous snakes save their venom for specifc situations, such as self-defence.

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Komodo Dragon’s Tongue

The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is a large reptile in the Varanidae family of monitor lizards. It is an ectotherm varanid. 

The Komodo Dragon has sharp teeth and a long, yellow, deeply-forked tongue. 

It eats invertebrates, birds, and mammals, such as monkeys. It uses venom to kill its prey, because the toxins stop the prey’s wound from clotting. The animal loses blood pressure and lots of blood. The Komodo Dragon takes a bite out of an animal, even a large animal, and the animal dies within a few days. 

The Komodo Dragon can eat a monkey or a deer whole. So, why does it need a long tongue? 

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Tanzanian Blue Ringleg Centipede

The Tanzanian Blue Ringleg Centipede (Scolopendra morsitans) is a chilopod in the Scolopendridae family of banded centipedes. It is also known as the Red-Headed Centipede. 

The Tanzanian Blue Ringleg Centipede has a wide, flattened yellow-gold to dark-slate body with black bands. It has a pair of antennae on its head and a pair of spikes on its tail. It has a segmented body, with 15 to 177 segments. 

It has one pair of legs for each body segment (in total it has 30-354 legs). No centipede has exactly 100 legs even though centipede means a hundred legs. Each pair of legs is slightly longer than the pair immediately in front of it. 

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Mediterranean Banded Centipede

The Mediterranean Banded Centipede (Scolopendra cingulata) is a chilopod in the Scolopendridae family of banded centipedes. It is also known as the Megarian Banded Centipede. 

The Mediterranean Banded Centipede has a wide, flattened yellow-gold body with black bands. It has a pair of antennae on its head and a pair of spikes on its tail. It has a segmented body, with 15 to 177 segments. 

It has one pair of legs for each body segment (in total it has 30-354 legs). No centipede has exactly 100 legs even though centipede means a hundred legs. Each pair of legs is slightly longer than the pair immediately in front of it. 

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