Study Looks at Snake Venom at Different Elevations

Close Up of Rattlesnake


PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A research project led by biologists in the state shows that the venom a prairie rattlesnake uses to disable its prey is different in the higher elevations of the Black Hills than at lower elevations.
The Pierre Capital Journal says that the research says the difference could be because the cooler, more rugged terrain of the Black Hills requires a snake to disable its prey faster.
The project is led by Black Hills State University biologist Brian Smith, his student Mallory Ageton, Eduardo Callegari from the University of South Dakota and Steve Mackessy from the University of Northern Colorado.
The scientists say that what they learn could lead to different strategies for treating humans bitten by rattlesnakes, depending on where they were when they were bitten.

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