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Re: Komodo Dragon venom -
On Thu, 1 Oct 2009, Dann Pigdon wrote:
On Fri, Oct 2nd, 2009 at 12:57 PM, B tH <email@example.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.
"Komodo Dragons: Biology and Conservation" has a couple of pages or so on
bites. A prey that manages to escape still faces "debilitation or death"
caused by bacteria in the komodo's mouth. The index to this book isn't
complete enough (for me anyway) and I'd have to spend some time flipping
through it to find more on this.
Monitors in general are unusually intelligent reptiles. I'd trust a
tamed monitor more than a tamed python any day.
Is there such a thing as a tamed python? ;)