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RE: [svp notes and other stuff]

I could be wrong, but I seem to remember from a fairly recent herpetology
class that rattlesnakes often give out different doses when they bite.  I
remember the instructor saying that they had to "remember" to squeeze their
venom sacs when they bit, therefore you might get a huge dose, a "normal"
dose, a "small" dose, or even no dose of venom at all.  Maybe its something
they learn to control as they get larger?

Lauri L. Bartlema
Curatorial Assistant
Conservation Division
Directorate of Environment
Fort Bliss, Texas
(915) 568-7015

> ----------
> From:         Alan Watson[SMTP:atw@hep.ph.bham.ac.uk]
> Reply To:     atw@hep.ph.bham.ac.uk
> Sent:         Thursday, November 09, 2000 2:40 AM
> To:   dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject:      Re: [svp notes and other stuff]
> archosaur@usa.net wrote:
> > Such extremely potent venom delivered in such exaggerated doses seems
> kinda
> > nutty, unless perhaps the ancestors of the Taipan and other venomous
> snakes,
> > were hunting much larger prey. 
> I don't know much about the Taipan, but the venom presumably also provides
> a 
> defense against larger predators, in which case a far greater toxicity
> than 
> needed to subdue their prey might be useful. Can any snakes vary the dose 
> according to what they bite?
> Alan