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Old 05-24-2009, 02:59 PM   #1
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Default Australia- Death adders eat fatal meal

Death adders eat fatal meal
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
University of Sydney

Death adders eat fatal meal(ScienceAlert)
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Unlike most Australian snakes, death adders don't wander around searching for their prey - instead, they lie in ambush and wriggle their tail-tip in the air so that the tip looks like a small grub or worm. A frog or lizard that sees the wriggling tail will rush across to grab a tasty meal - and find a hungry snake instead, so likely will end up as the snake's dinner.

Professor Rick Shine and his colleagues Dr Mattias Hagman and Dr Ben Phillips noticed that death adder numbers plummeted after cane toads invaded their study site near Darwin. The scientists wondered why so they set up trials with captive snakes, and found that the death adders had fallen into an "evolutionary trap".

Unfortunately for the snakes, the way that toads move provides exactly the right stimulus to cause death adders to wave their tails - and a wriggling tail-tip is irresistible for a hungry cane toad.
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:41 PM   #2
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That lousy Cane Toad has been nothing but trouble anywhere it has established outside its native range of South and Central Anerica.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:34 PM   #3
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Sorry, but I'm having a hard time finding this to be a bad thing. Death adder eats poisonous cane toad and they both die. One less poisonous snake AND one less poisonous toad seems like a GOOD thing to me.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:36 PM   #4
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The death adder belongs there. The cane toad does not. The death of the Death adder has more negative effects than the death of the cane toad.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:49 PM   #5
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Understood, on the big scale. However, if they were in MY back yard, they BOTH need to be dead. Poisonous critters not welcome here.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:44 PM   #6
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Well, poisonous critters are welcome in my back yard. they belong here, I don't, IMO. I can watch out for them, and avoid them. There is a program to re-introduce Massasaugua rattlesnakes into Lake co, IL, and you wouldn't believe the resistance.

Oh the childruuuuunnnn.....please. Keep your kids and dogs on a leash, where they belong, and everything will be fine.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:21 PM   #7
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I live about a mile away from active timber rattlesnake colonies (saw a headless carcass on the roadside just last October). They are considered "threatened" in New Jersey, and are protected.

My backyard is saturated with their perfect nesting material...rocks (from glacial till) and rock walls. However, there was a bounty on them a century ago, and they were exterminated from the region.

I've also seen a kingsnake, but that was over a decade ago, when it got caught in some black plastic netting (I had to hold down its head, while I cut the netting off him...he was 4 1/2 to 5 feet long).

Other than the occasional garter, I haven't seen any venomous snakes. But every time I go back there for "rock wall material", I keep a very close eye where I step.

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Old 05-27-2009, 09:49 AM   #8
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We don't have any venomous snakes where I live but we do have animals getting caught in plastic bags and those 6-pack bands. Maddening isn't it to see animals stuck in plastic.
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:13 PM   #9
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Most venomous snakes are not easy to run into even if specifically looking for them, but it's always best to take care when stepping over downed trees, placing hands on rock ledges, or moving wood/debris. You can build a small fence of slick material (kind of like those you see around construction sites) to protect the backyard if it's small enough or otherwise you can enclose specific places like a child's play area if you're really worried it. Believe it or not I know people who have done this. The problem is that when they send their kids off to play in the woods, there is no fence, so this does not substitute talking about the wonders and dangers of nature with a child. I think it's a great idea to make sure they know when & where people might be hunting because that's a huge danger, know not to pick up any snake that they cannot be 110% sure if non-venomous, and to watch out for rusty nails. I just saw a photo of someone who lost his foot despite medical treatment for an extended period of time to an infection from a rusty nail. Trees coming down in high winds can be dangerous as well. A lodge employee suffered a broken back while I was staying in Peru. During storms the shallow roots systems of tropical trees can send them down in a hurry, but the same could happen here as well. There is never going to be any way to be 100% safe, but I think it's worthwhile to learn from others' misfortunes. The most dangerous things are how we eat and driving, so focusing on snakes while scarfing down donuts and not paying attention to the road actually increased one's health risk. I know I've been guilt of that, I wear snake proof boots and turn over objects using a potatoe rake and then the next thing I know I am driving and talking on the phone at the same time with my seatbelt off!
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