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Poisonous Snakes and Lizards
Ways to Avoid Snakebite
Snake Groups
Descriptions of Poisonous Snakes
Poisonous Snakes of the Americas
Poisonous Snakes of Europe
Poisonous Snakes of Africa and Asia
Poisonous Snakes of Australasia
Poisonous Sea Snakes
Poisonous Lizards
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OUTDOOR SURVIVAL

Poisonous Snakes and Lizards: Snake Groups

Snakes dangerous to man usually fall into two groups: proteroglypha and solenoglypha. Their fangs and their venom best describe these two groups (Figure E-1).

Fangs

The proteroglypha have, in front of the upper jaw and preceding the ordinary teeth, permanently erect fangs. These fangs are called fixed fangs.

The solenoglypha have erectile fangs; that is, fangs they can raise to an erect position. These fangs are called folded fangs.

Venom

The fixed-fang snakes (proteroglypha) usually have neurotoxic venoms. These venoms affect the nervous system, making the victim unable to breathe.

The folded-fang snakes (solenoglypha) usually have hemotoxic venoms. These venoms affect the circulatory system, destroying blood cells, damaging skin tissues, and causing internal hemorrhaging.

Remember, however, that most poisonous snakes have both neurotoxic and hemotoxic venom. Usually one type of venom in the snake is dominant and the other is weak.

Poisonous Versus Nonpoisonous Snakes

No single characteristic distinguishes a poisonous snake from a harmless one except the presence of poison fangs and glands. Only in dead specimens can you determine the presence of these fangs and glands without danger.


Poisonous Snakes and Lizards
Ways to Avoid Snakebite | Snake Groups | Descriptions of Poisonous Snakes | Poisonous Snakes of the Americas | Poisonous Snakes of Europe | Poisonous Snakes of Africa and Asia | Poisonous Snakes of Australasia | Poisonous Sea Snakes | Poisonous Lizards

 

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