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World’s Smallest Snake Discovered
Posted: 03 August 2008 08:20 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m a reptile enthusiast, so I think this is really neat! The snake is so small it can curl up on a quarter.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP)—A U.S. scientist said Sunday he has discovered the globe’s tiniest species of snake in the easternmost Caribbean island of Barbados, with full-grown adults typically stretching less than 4 inches (10 centimeters) long.

S. Blair Hedges, an evolutionary biologist at Penn State University whose research teams also have discovered the world’s tiniest lizard in the Dominican Republic and the smallest frog in Cuba, said the snake was found slithering beneath a rock near a patch of Barbadian forest.

Hedges said the tiny-title-holding snake, which is so diminutive it can curl up on a U.S. quarter, is the smallest of the roughly 3,100 known snake species. It will be introduced to the scientific world in the journal “Zootaxa” on Monday.

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Posted: 04 August 2008 04:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Very neat. Hard to believe that’s a snake!

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Posted: 05 August 2008 11:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Meh, I could beat that in a fight.

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Posted: 06 August 2008 07:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I saw this yesterday and I thought it looked like a worm.  I wonder how many stories there are of children trying to use them as bait?  There was this kid in the Ozarks who mistook baby copperheads as fishing worms, thus why I asked about this snake.  Hopefully parents in Barbados educate their kids so that doesn’t happen.

BTW, the kid died from being bit too many times.  He didn’t get a clue from being bitten by the “fishing worms”.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 06 August 2008 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Mriana - 06 August 2008 07:25 AM

BTW, the kid died from being bit too many times.  He didn’t get a clue from being bitten by the “fishing worms”.

(unfortunately) Sometimes, it’s just a case of the gene pool getting scrubbed.

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Posted: 06 August 2008 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Asanta,

Apart from being inaccurate, that remark is pretty nasty considering we’re talking about the death of somebody’s child. I’m a bit surprised. :-(

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Posted: 06 August 2008 09:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I am too.  :(  It isn’t so much the “gene pool being scrubbed” as it is parents not educating their children.  Children cannot know about animals, reptiles, etc unless they are taught. The same holds true with this snake.  If someone is not educated about it, then they could be in a lot of trouble.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 06 August 2008 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Mriana - 06 August 2008 07:25 AM

I saw this yesterday and I thought it looked like a worm.  I wonder how many stories there are of children trying to use them as bait?  There was this kid in the Ozarks who mistook baby copperheads as fishing worms, thus why I asked about this snake.  Hopefully parents in Barbados educate their kids so that doesn’t happen.

BTW, the kid died from being bit too many times.  He didn’t get a clue from being bitten by the “fishing worms”.

Urban myth? Do the babies have enough poison?

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Posted: 06 August 2008 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Copperhead babies do have enough poison to kill an adult human.  It’s venom concentration is the same through out it’s life.  It is hardly an urban myth.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 06 August 2008 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Mriana - 06 August 2008 09:52 AM

Copperhead babies do have enough poison to kill an adult human.  It’s venom concentration is the same through out it’s life.  It is hardly an urban myth.

Sure?

http://www.theologos.net/Deadbite.htm

Still sounds like a myth.

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Posted: 06 August 2008 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Here are a couple of links discussing copperhead envenomation. Sounds like it is pretty mild compared to most venomous snakes, so it does cast a bit of doubt on the story. Regardless, Mriana’s point that it is easy to get into trouble by not recognizing a potentially dangerous snake is still a valid one. Interstingly, most of the bites seem to be young men. Hmm, wonder why that is? grin


Copperhead Venom

Case Series

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Posted: 06 August 2008 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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You can educate yourself further about baby snakes by doing your research.  Sadly, as Brennen points out, could be potentially dangerous if you believe baby snakes are harmless:

http://www.copperhead-snake.com/

Even here, it says baby rattlers are dangerous too:

http://phoenix.gov/fire/bitessna.html

More on copperheads:

http://mdc.mo.gov/conmag/2003/05/back.htm

http://mdc.mo.gov/conmag/1999/05/40.htm

http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/Documents/171.pdf

While a baby copperhead does not have more venom than an adult, it is still just as deadly and suspect so are the babies of this tiny snake too.  I would not try and tempt fate with even the babies of venomous snakes just to find out if it really is a myth or not.  You may find yourself in serious medical trouble.

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Mriana
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Posted: 06 August 2008 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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mckenzievmd - 06 August 2008 10:43 AM

... Interestingly, most of the bites seem to be young men. Hmm, wonder why that is? grin

They are also most often the ones who try to swim in crocodile infested waters.

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Posted: 06 August 2008 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Boys love to pick up gross little critters. Some girls, too. As a kid I was always covered in mud, and much to my mother’s dismay, bringing home frogs and snakes. My dad always took me hiking, and showed me which animals I could investigate and which were off limits. Hence my life-long enthusiasm for reptiles, and all animals.

Now besides our dog, we have a chinese water dragon. She is very moody, dramatic, and high maintenance. I love her! (Except when we recently had to bring her to the exotics vet from the Bronx Zoo $$$...my love diminished for a short period of time while I recovered from the wallet-shock…)

Anyhow, the guy who discovered the tiny snake also discovered this miniature gecko, which is very cool:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1689313.stm

I love the “island effect” making animals either very large or very small to suit their habitat. This gecko fulfills the niche of spiders, eating mites on the forest floor. The tiny snake may play a similar role.

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Posted: 07 August 2008 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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mckenzievmd - 06 August 2008 09:25 AM

Asanta,

Apart from being inaccurate, that remark is pretty nasty considering we’re talking about the death of somebody’s child. I’m a bit surprised. :-(

I apologize, that WAS very insensitive of me. My fingers were obviously typing before my brain told me to STOP (and think) red face

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Posted: 07 August 2008 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Working in the medical field, bites from the baby snakes are often worse that those from an adult because (I was told) that the baby snakes will usually unload all of their venom, whereas the adult can/will regulate how much it wants to inject with each bite.

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