The effect of rattlesnake venom on digestion of prey

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dc.contributor.author Thomas, Richard en_US
dc.contributor.author Pough, F. Harvey en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2006-08-28T14:40:16Z en_US
dc.date.available 2006-08-28T14:40:16Z en_US
dc.date.issued 1979 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Toxicon 17N3 (1979) 221-228 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0041-0101 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1850/2503 en_US
dc.description.abstract Rattlesnake venom injected into live mice before they were swallowed by non-venomous snakes speeded the process of digestion. This effect of venom was more pronounced when digestion was tested at 15°C than at 25°C. The proteolytic activity of viperid venom appears to facilitate the entry of a snake's stomach secretions into the prey's body cavity, inhibiting bacterial activity and thereby reducing the risk of prey putrefying before it can be digested. This effect would be particularly valuable for snakes that eat very large prey in relation to their own body size or that normally experience low body temperatures after feeding. Viperid snakes comprise a disproportionately large fraction of the total snake fauna at high altitudes in North America and Africa. Proteolytic venom appears to be one of a group of characters that permit viperid snakes to swallow and digest large prey. A digestive function of venom probably appeared at an early stage in the evolution of vipers. en_US
dc.format.extent 37365 bytes en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Elsevier: Toxicon en_US
dc.subject Digestion of prey en_US
dc.subject Rattlesnake venom en_US
dc.subject Viperid venom en_US
dc.title The effect of rattlesnake venom on digestion of prey en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.identifier.url http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0041-0101(79)90211-3

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