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What makes a snake's venom dangerous? Why are some venom that do not kill humans and others do?
Question Date: 2020-11-30
Answer 1:

Great question! Many snakes rely on venom in order to immobilize their prey so they can eat. The main reason that some snake bites are more dangerous than others is that some snake species just release more venom than others.

The toxicity of snake venom is mostly dependent on dosage (the amount of venom that enters your system). The reason snake venom can be dangerous is because it contains toxic proteins that function in different ways to immobilize prey and these proteins can have similar effects on humans. Some snake venom contains cytotoxins, that destroy body cells. Some snake venom contains neurotoxins that are poisonous specifically to the nervous system. Some snake venom contains hemotoxins that are poisonous specifically to the blood. Some snakes have a combination of all of these different toxin types.

However, most snakes will never bite humans unless they feel threatened. So the best thing to do if you see a snake (whether it is venomous or not) is to admire them but do not touch!

I've attached some photos of my favorite types of snakes (all non-venomous to humans). Enjoy! Thank you for your question and have a great day!

Mountain King Snake

Pacific Ringneck Snake

Garter Snake

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