Animal Scene

STRIKING A NERVE

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I am not aware of in-depth studies done on the nature of T. subannulat­us venom, but in the related T. wagleri, it has been shown that in stark contrast to those from most other viperids, their venom is mainly neurotoxic, as detailed by Choo Hock Tan and colleagues in a 2017 article for Scientific Reports. Neurotoxic venom is commonly found in the family Elapidae, which includes the planet’s venomous heavyweigh­ts: cobras, taipans, and mambas. Viper venom is typically cytotoxic, which results in tissue damage rather than an attack on the nervous system. Nonetheles­s, it must be noted that reports of lethal bites of Tropidolae­mus on humans appear non-existent.

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