Tagged With snake venom

Being bitten by an Australian tiger snake is a wholly unpleasant experience. Within minutes, you start to feel pain in your neck and lower extremities -- symptoms that are soon followed by tingling sensations, numbness and profuse sweating. Breathing starts to become difficult, paralysis sets in, and if left untreated, you'll probably die. Remarkably, the venom responsible for these horrifying symptoms has remained the same for 10 million years -- the result of a fortuitous mutation that makes it practically impossible for evolution to find a counter-solution.

Cobras are renowned for their devastating flesh-eating venom, and the dramatic way they rear their heads upwards to flare their hoods. New research clarifies the purpose of these tactics and how they emerged among cobras -- insights that could help scientists develop more powerful anti-venoms, and help you spot an especially deadly cobra before it's too late.