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Tom Holtz wrote..

> To any ophidiologists on the net: is it true that most snakes will 
> not eat food unless they are close to body temperature?

(I am not an 'ophidiologist', but..) No, it is not really true - 
there ARE reported cases of wild snakes eating dead (sometimes long 
dead) animals. Of course, such behaviour IS rare, but that doesn't 
mean it doesn't happen.. Am I making myself clear? There is no rule 
here that sticks for all occasions.

I recall some excellent anecdotes relating to snakes eating 
dead prey in YALDEN'S _British Snakes_ (or was it Langley's 
_British Snakes_?). 

Incidentally, the oft-cited assertion that cheetah never eat dead 
animals is not 100% true either, as they have been reported to chew 
at road kills and such. Note that cheetah eat thigh muscles before 
anything else.

"Aaaah, it'll be paradise - a hot, steamy, sweltering paradise"