What happens when a snake bites itself

What happens when a snake bites itself?

Snake venoms are one of the world’s deadliest substances. So snakes need to be super careful with them. I mean, if you've got giant muscles, you do not want to punch yourself within the face. and clearly , if you've got potent venom, you do not want to accidentally bite yourself… or, so you’d think. 


 But in reality if a snake bite itself then it will not have a proper impact to it. We've known this for an extended time. Over the centuries, a large number of ethically-questionable scientists have found themselves overcome with this morbid curiosity. So they’ve injected snakes with their own venoms to check what would happen. And, the short answer is usually: little or no , if anything in the slightest degree. Most venomous snakes simply aren’t a danger to themselves, despite the fact that, in other animals, their venoms do some serious damage. 

What does snake venom contains?

Snake venoms are filled with toxic peptides and proteins, molecules that cells make that cause all kinds of horribly, horribly unpleasant things. Like, neurotoxic venoms mess with neurons and keep them from sending signals properly. which means, at their worst, they will cause life-threatening paralysis. 

Meanwhile, hemotoxic venoms do terrible things to your cardiovascular system , like preventing blood coagulation and causing uncontrolled bleeding.


 Some snakes even produce cytotoxic venoms: these type of venoms kill our cells and may cause parts of your body to easily die. All of those toxins tend to try to to their nefarious work using elements of cells that are found across vertebrate lineages, and even in invertebrates like bugs. 

Essentially, you'll consider the toxins as keys that unlock really standardized doorknobs found altogether forms of buildings. That’s why they’re dangerous to us, even if we’re not the buildings they’re trying to interrupt into. And why it’s weird they’re usually not dangerous to themselves, even though they need an equivalent quite doorknobs. Ok, the analogy could be getting a touch strained, but i feel you get the image. 

Some recent researches:

We didn’t find out how the snakes were surviving their toxic cocktails until somewhat recently. And, it seems , they will each have several strategies. For starters, despite the fact that venom toxins tend to attack really important pieces of our biology, some snakes are ready to tweak their versions of those targets. It’s the molecular equivalent of adjusting the locks. for instance , since neurotoxins are charged , they’re interested in charged parts of receptor proteins on nerves. But some species of snake have just learnt to reversed the polarity of their receptors. Rather than negatively charged receptors, they need positively charged ones that literally repel the positively charged toxins. 

And this isn’t just seen in venomous snakes that require to guard themselves. Some non-venomous snakes have similar tweaks to their receptors, presumably to assist keep off their cousins’ menu. Other snakes, just like the egyptian cobra, are ready to tack sugars onto their nerve receptors, which physically block the toxins from reaching their target. But it’s not always possible to switch the things toxins attack. Changes can mess things up, and remember, these are super important parts of our bodies, so trying to toxin-proof them might be life-threatening all on its own. So, some snakes have built-in antivenoms.

How they protect themselves:

Biologists have suspected venomous snakes essentially “leak” toxins into their bodies constantly. This lets their immune systems develop targeted defenses, much within the same way a vaccine prevents you from coming down with a disease. But some take this concept one step further. They’ve evolved anti-toxins that they confine their bodies all the time. That way, if a number of their venom gets where it doesn’t belong, the foremost dangerous bits are pack up before they will cause real harm. as an example , some snakes produce proteins that bind and inhibit their venom’s phospholipases: enzymes liable for tons of the nasty effects of hemotoxic and cytotoxic venoms. 

What it does to our body?

These versatile enzymes can do a variety of awful things, like prevent blood coagulation and kill cells. So it’s no wonder that snakes just like the short-tailed viper have several different phospholipase inhibitors in their blood. What’s extra cool about natural inhibitors is that they might help us develop better antivenoms. Modern antivenoms save tons of lives, but they’re not perfect. They’re expensive, only cover a limited number of snakes, and usually require cold storage, which suggests it are often hard to urge them to the people that most need them. So doctors would like to find an honest alternative, and therefore the snakes’ own natural inhibitors hold tons of promise. Before we wrap this up, it’s worth noting that not all snakes have these inbuilt protections. Some can and have killed themselves with a misplaced bite. 

Like, in 2016, Australian researchers witnessed the unfortunate death of a brown tree snake that bit itself, which suggests that brown tree snakes aren’t resistant to their own venom. And even ones that are might not survive the bite from other members of their own species, since there are often tons of toxin variation between individuals. Like, in 1932, scientists made a few of black-tailed rattlesnakes bite one another , and let’s just say that things didn't end well for either rattlesnake. 

In numerous cases, though, the animal’s built-in venom defenses can prevent personal tragedy. So while I imagine it’s super embarrassing for a snake to accidentally bite itself, most can slither away mumbling “I meant to try and do that.”

It's super rare to see snakes bite themselves. If someday you see one, then you must click pictures and make videos and share it on the internet.
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