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Posted by BGF on November 13, 2002 at 16:53:56:
In Reply to: Just wondering posted by Chance on November 13, 2002 at 11:58:44:
The LD50 (which for some reason I forgot to put on the list but will fix when I do a major update of the page soon) is 0.1 mg/kg. This is plenty hot. The major venom component is a prothrombin activator, this causes the same sorts of coagulation effects as Australian snakes such as taipans, tiger snakes or brown snakes.
As for the smell, many snakes have quite different secretions coming out of the glands associated with cloaca. Some, like the boomslang merely smell odd, others like the ring necks are acrid. An interesting project would be to compare by gas mass spectrometry the aromatic compounds present in the different snakes. It would be neat to find out what the defensive ones are (ala the ring neck). Just squeeze just before the cloaca, collect into a small eppendorf tube, drop onto dry ice and store in the -80 till your ready to start the experiment. Any Uni with a decent sized chemistry dept would have a good GC/MS machine. It would be a fascinating study from an evolutionary perspective and would be very publishable