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Old 07-18-2012, 05:53 AM   #11
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We've also rescued black rat snakes from plastic bird netting. I no longer use it because of this hazard. We also have garter snakes, ring-necked snakes and corn snakes on our property; copperheads have been seen nearby. I keep an insect net next to our cistern to rescue snakes that accidentally fall in...
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:45 PM   #12
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Awesome stuff, y'all! I've never found a Coral snake, unfortunately...that's a dream of mine.

Copperheads are typically very passive towards humans. In general, but not always, a person would have to harm/step on a Copperhead to have one bite them. We have one at our Nature Center that was found by a little boy who played with it for about a month before his mother called us to find out what kind it was. She never bit him, and when they found out she was venomous we kept her. She's not aggressive at all, though she doesn't like being handled...very happy in her habitat. Feeding her is always a pleasure, she hits hard and never lets go.

Luckily for humans we're HUGE compared to snakes so about half of the time venomous snakes bite us it's a "dry bite", no venom is injected but it still hurts with those big fangs! It takes up to a couple of weeks for venomous snakes to get their full load of venom back, so they are conservative in defense when they can be. Baby venomous snakes are much more dangerous than adults because they cannot control their venom delivery as well and tend to give the full load. Captive venomous snakes often deliver a full load as well.

Something to remember about venomous snakes...they are confident animals, which means they tend to be less aggressive than one might think (and less than many non-venomous snakes). They all have warning systems that they like to use before they use their tools for catching food, as well.

Something true for all snakes in the US. If you give them space they'll likely move along. It's when they feel cornered or harassed that they get bitey. This rule does not apply to some snakes in Africa/Asia...etc.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:39 PM   #13
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A character in a Robert Heinlein novel once said that handling venomous snakes in itself is not dangerous. Handling venomous snakes when you don't know they're venomous is. He was talking about a Coral Snake which, I understand, has a few imitators. There's a rhyme about the color pattern to remind you which ones are dangerous. I don't remember it but luckily it shouldn't be a concern in Massachusetts.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulucanagria View Post
A character in a Robert Heinlein novel once said that handling venomous snakes in itself is not dangerous. Handling venomous snakes when you don't know they're venomous is. He was talking about a Coral Snake which, I understand, has a few imitators. There's a rhyme about the color pattern to remind you which ones are dangerous. I don't remember it but luckily it shouldn't be a concern in Massachusetts.
Red meets Black...Friend of Jack
Red meets Yellow...Kill a Fellow

If I remember correctly coral snakes are in the same family as cobras unlike the rest of our venomous snakes which are pit vipers and have extremely potent venom.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recurve View Post
Red meets Black...Friend of Jack
Red meets Yellow...Kill a Fellow

If I remember correctly coral snakes are in the same family as cobras unlike the rest of our venomous snakes which are pit vipers and have extremely potent venom.
Thanks for that. If I'm ever in Coral Snake territory it could come in handy, although I'm more likely to follow this one

If you don't know
Just let it go.

I seem to remember that Coral Snakes have the most potent venom of any snake in North America, if not the Western Hemisphere. Again, I don't intentionally interact with any snake unless I'm sure it's safe. Here in Massachusetts that just means knowing the two extremely rare venomous snakes that I have any chance of encountering, the Eastern Timber Rattlesnake and the Copperhead, both of which are pretty distinctive.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:55 PM   #16
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Coral snakes are deadly and the antivenom is not made or sold in the US anymore.

Red and yellow kills a fellow, red and black is a friendly jack.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:03 PM   #17
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Coral snakes are deadly and the antivenom is not made or sold in the US anymore.

Red and yellow kills a fellow, red and black is a friendly jack.

Why in the world not? Did someone convince a congressman that kids were using it to get high or something?
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:10 PM   #18
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Pharmaceutical companies do not find it profitable, bites are rare.

They aren't common, or aggressive, and they are rear fanged snakes..so they don't have much for fangs. But their venom...that's some good stuff!
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:25 PM   #19
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Ah, cost benefit analysis. I grok that.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manimal View Post
Pharmaceutical companies do not find it profitable, bites are rare.

They aren't common, or aggressive, and they are rear fanged snakes..so they don't have much for fangs. But their venom...that's some good stuff!

I found this in my experience to be very true. Every coral I ever encountered was in a hurry to get away, whereas the copperhead or water mocassin tends to stay put. It is interesting that the former is brightly colored whereas the latter two are more earth colored---perhaps the coloration reflects the behavior. I have heard of several people in my area being bitten by copperheads (I came close myself when I stepped on a big one!) but I have never heard of anyone being bitten by a coral.
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