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Posted by Colchicine on February 02, 2003 at 21:22:51:
In Reply to: That is based on one assumption... posted by chrish on February 02, 2003 at 12:52:24:
My suggestion certainly would test the role of defensive secretions in prey recognition, however it would not necessarily assume that defensive secretions are the sole chemical cue used by snakes. Despite prey items not being alarmed, I am assuming that the defensive secretions are still part of the skin and probably contribute to the identifying smell of the animal. My major adviser did her Ph.D. thesis on the feeding habits of cottonmouths, when I meet with her tomorrow perhaps she could provide me with her opinion.
Despite what would seem the norm for a hognose, they don't seem too fond of the water. Perhaps there is an evolutionary advantage to eating the terrestrial species with defensive secretions. I believe it was Dennis Desmond who makes the claim that it is a possibility that hognoses depend on the secretions of Bufo sp to control endoparasites. Which makes sense because of the high mortality rate of wildcards and hognoses that are switched to mice.