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Re: Komodo Dragon venom -



On Fri, Oct 2nd, 2009 at 12:57 PM, B tH <soylentgreenistrex@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Yes, WIKI's state that the venom is mildly toxic - what's the truth?

Their venom has been found to decrease blood pressure, increase bleeding (by 
preventing 
clotting), and sends the prey into shock.

> Every source still says the saliva is highly infectious, though - despite 
> recent discoveries of
> venom in monitor lizards.

'Every source' has been wrong. The whole 'infectious bite' method of hunting 
has always been a 
myth, albeit a very widely believed one. 

The anti-clotting effect of the venom alone ensures that even an apparently 
non-lethal bite can 
cause the prey to bleed to death, long before any infection has a chance to 
develop. A keeper at 
the Singapore Zoo was once badly bitten, and the wound continued to bleed for 
hours. In fact, such 
profuse bleeding might even help flush the wound clean, reducing the chance of 
an infection taking 
hold.

> You notice they aren't petting adults.

'Keith' at the Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney was 40 when he died. He was a 
gentleman his entire life.

Monitors in general are unusually intelligent reptiles. I'd trust a tamed 
monitor more than a tamed 
python any day.

-- 
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Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist                Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj
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