snakes

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Beautiful 'Freak' Snake May Ease Your Pain One Day

If scientists can harness the power of the long-glanded blue coral snake's venom

(Newser) - Ibuprofen for your splitting headache, or venom from the "killer of killers"? Scientists say that poison from one of the rarest, most "beautiful" snakes in the world—a creature that devours king cobras for breakfast and boasts "freaky" long venom glands that run a quarter of... More »

Odd New Tool in Study of Wildfires: Rattlesnakes

Researcher will track snakes near Washington burn site

(Newser) - Animals flee fire—but what happens when the flames are extinguished? That's exactly what Joey Chase of Central Washington University is trying to find out. Over the next year, he plans to track two male Northern Pacific rattlesnakes, each about 10 years old, found near the site of a... More »

Nothing Stops the Mail …Except One Carrier's Major Snake Phobia

'Snake-free zone. Could we pleeze have our mail?'

(Newser) - “Rain, snow, but not the snakes?” Fox 32 Chicago quotes Bill Hawkins as saying. Hawkins and his neighbors in Chicago's Rogers Park are having a hard time getting their mail thanks to the annual springtime boom in garter snakes and a mail carrier deathly afraid of them. A... More »

2 'Extinct' Snakes Found Swimming Happily

And they might be mating

(Newser) - Scientists feared the last of Australia's short-nosed sea snakes died about 15 years ago, which makes this new sighting doubly auspicious: A wildlife official snapped a photo of not one but two of the snakes swimming off the western coast—and they were making googly eyes at each other.... More »

Scientists Finally Know Why Snakes Lost Their Legs

Apparently it was a need to burrow underground

(Newser) - "How snakes lost their legs has long been a mystery to scientists," Dr. Hongyu Yi says in a press release from the University of Edinburgh. But that mystery may have finally been solved thanks to a 90 million-year-old skull and advanced CT scan technology. It's been long... More »

Fungus Mysteriously Killing America's Rattlesnakes

Conservation efforts 'overwhelmed' by disease's spread

(Newser) - Though rattlesnakes once occupied much of the US, humans have shrunk their populations—and now an insidious fungal disease is doing further damage. Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola surfaced here roughly 10 years ago, and it has since been found in nine eastern states, reports the AP . The eastern massasauga rattlesnake in Illinois... More »

How Boa Constrictors Really Kill Their Prey

They cut off a prey's blood flow, which kills in minutes

(Newser) - Most people think constrictors like boas and anacondas squeeze the air out of their prey with their muscular coils. And most people are wrong, according to a new study that offers an entirely different theory. Dickinson College researcher Scott Boback explains that colleague Dave Hardy first noticed two decades ago... More »

How the Turtle Got Its Shell

The 240M-year-old 'grandfather' turtle had no shell and a very long tail

(Newser) - For at least a century, scientists have puzzled over the turtle. Thanks to a gap in the fossil record between 260 million and 220 million years ago, it's unclear how the turtle got its shell and to whom it's most closely related. Now a fossil from 240 million... More »

7 Stolen Rare Pythons May Die If Not Returned: Owner

Snakes taken from Ohio pet store are all in need of medical care

(Newser) - Seven rare pythons have been stolen from an Ohio pet store, and the company's CEO is desperate to get them back because none of them are in great shape, Cleveland.com reports. Five of the snakes lifted from Akron Rattery and Reptile Rescue on Saturday evening are sick with... More »

Snakes Used to Have Ankles

Ancestor likely had little toes, too

(Newser) - Scientists have created the most comprehensive family tree of snakes to date, and the ancestor at the very top looked different than the snakes we know today in one noticeable way: It "had tiny hind limbs, with complete ankles and toes," says a Yale researcher in a post... More »

Why It's Unwise to Play With Water Moccasins

They're not really cuddly

(Newser) - "People without the experience shouldn't be handling these types of animals." This revolutionary statement of the obvious on venomous snakes comes to us by way of a Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rep in the great state of Florida, where one Austin Hatfield might take that to... More »

Bit by a Snake? An Opossum Could Save You

Peptide from opossum protein protects mice from snakebites

(Newser) - For 75 years, researchers have known that opossums aren't fazed by poisonous snakes that can kill humans with a single strike. For about 25 years, they've known that a serum protein is responsible for that immunity. Now scientists have harnessed that protein and hope to save some of... More »

In 'Anaconda' Rehearsal, Minaj Dancer Bitten by ... Snake

It has been an eventful run-up to the VMAs

(Newser) - By the time the MTV Video Music Awards roll around tonight, there may not be many people left willing to attend: In the wake of Suge Knight's shooting overnight at a pre-VMAs party comes the news that during a rehearsal Friday for Nicki Minaj hit "Anaconda," a... More »

What It's Like on the World's Deadliest Island

On Ilha de Queimada Grande, snakes' venom can melt flesh

(Newser) - An island off the coast of Sao Paolo, Brazil, is home to one of the deadliest snakes on Earth—and there are a lot of them. Some believe there's a golden lancehead viper for every square meter of Ilha de Queimada Grande, or as many as 4,000 of... More »

Woman Has Mass Removed 50 Years After Snake Bite

Calcified tissue took a while to develop

(Newser) - It was a slowww reaction. When she was 14, a girl in Thailand got bit in the leg by a poisonous snake called the Malayan pit viper. A half-century later, she showed up at the doctor with a painful mass in that same leg, reports LiveScience , picking up on a... More »

Surprise: Couple Finds 3-Foot Python in Couch

It was left behind by a former tenant

(Newser) - Loose change, the TV remote, your lost car keys—typical stuff found underneath the couch cushions. But a 3-foot-long python? That's what a Long Island couple discovered while cleaning. The Suffolk County SPCA says Peter Wang and his wife were sprucing up a basement apartment that had recently been... More »

After Pastor Killed by Snake, Son Gets Bitten

'It wasn't bad at all,' says Cody Coots

(Newser) - Today in potentially lethal family businesses we have the case of Cody Coots, a 21-year-old Kentuckian and fourth-generation snake handler who is recovering from, well, a rattlesnake bite he suffered Monday—just three months after his father famously died of a snakebite . It seems Jamie Coots' death did little to... More »

Nightsnake 'Lost' for Decades Is Rediscovered

Original sighting on Mexican island was long written off as mistake

(Newser) - The Clarion nightsnake is hard to spot, so hard to spot that for decades, the only sighting of the species native to one of Mexico's Revillagigedo Islands—the original sighting—was assumed to be a mistake. A joint US-Mexico team, however, managed to rediscover the species found by American... More »

An Albino Snake Is Plaguing the Canary Islands

There are as many as thousands per square mile ... underground

(Newser) - Pet snakes have led to big problems in the Canary Islands, quite literally: Biologists say an albino variety of California kingsnake, bred in captivity in San Diego, is now obliterating native animal populations after some of the snakes came to the islands as pets and escaped. The snakes are 30%... More »

What Coots Was Thinking When He Held That Snake

Dead pastor wasn't under the impression he was safe

(Newser) - If your reaction to the death of the snake-handling Kentucky pastor killed by one of his own snakes on Saturday was "he must have been delusional," WBIR digs into why the exact opposite is, in one way, the case. It spoke with a range of religion professors about... More »

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