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Author Topic: Can A Snake Poison Itself ? (or any other poisonous thing harm itself ?)  (Read 8067 times)

Offline neilep

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Dear Antitoxin Answerers !

See how this bloke has foolishly decided to attack a snakes mouth with his face !! ?



I suppose he was trying to head-butt the snake !!

Say Sammy (that's the snakes name by the way)...decided to take a chomp of his own body would he poison himself ?......what about a spider ?...say a spider mistook one of it's legs for a nice tasty stick insect, would it harm itself ?

Just slip your answer in and fill me with your educated goodness !! ;)

LOL...hugs and shmishes

Neil
xxxx

mwah mwah mwah !!



 

Offline dkv

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No. This possibility was neutralized by the evolutionary process. Unless there is some deadly infection in the mouth ...it is unlikely.
When a snake attacks there is a good chance that it misses and bites itself. Therefore the process which gave the posion also gave the defence.
If a snake bites another dissimilar snake then there is a possibility.For a species ,upto some extent the strength of poison might prove criticial in finding the right mate.
Spiders also use the poison for the same purpose to kill and digest the food.
And dont expect them to die if they bite themselves.

 

Offline neilep

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No. This possibility was neutralized by the evolutionary process. Unless there is some deadly infection in the mouth ...it is unlikely.
When a snake attacks there is a good chance that it misses and bites itself. Therefore the process which gave the posion also gave the defence.
If a snake bites another dissimilar snake then there is a possibility.For a species ,upto some extent the strength of poison might prove criticial in finding the right mate.
Spiders also use the poison for the same purpose to kill and digest the food.
And dont expect them to die if they bite themselves.


This great. THANK EWE DKV

I did wonder this for a while as clearly the venom of a snake or spider is kept separate from the animals own  bloodstream and so I thought I'd just ask.

Seems a very sensible evolutionary step to make one resistant to one's own poison !!



Mind you......you should try wifeys cooking !! ::)
 

Offline dkv

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yes.the nature of evolutionary process is different in my opinion.but that is a different topic.

never heard of  a spider which fell to its own net.
snake which bit itself to death.
any defense or offense mechanism comes with some security cover.
There is an insect which throws chemicals in self defense at very temperature. But this stream of steam(boiled chemical) doesnt harm the insect.
Can you find out how it manages to protect itself?
 
 

Offline chris

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We answered this and a similar question recently on the radio show:

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/questions/question/1913/
 

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