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Posted by WW on November 15, 2002 at 04:22:36:
In Reply to: Re: Nice shot ... posted by Francis Tan on November 14, 2002 at 18:43:32:
You can certainly see how they got their name (Macropisthodon = large rear teeth)!!!
I would be wary of extrapolating too much from their presumed relationship with Rhabdophis, though. Firstly, other Asian natricines whicha re also close to Rhabdophis aren't dangerous (e.g., Xenochrophis). Second, the very large fangs may be used to puncture toads, as in Xenodon or Heterodon, and their size may thus not necessarily be solely for the purpose of venom inoculation. Certainly, on South American colubrids, the level of danger is not really related to the level of danger - Tomodon, and Waglerophis and Xenodon have massive chompers and are not dangerous, whereas Hydrodynastes, which can cause serious bites, is most unimpressive.
Tomodon dorsatus threat, showing fangs
Waglerophis merremi therat display, showing cute set of chompers.
Having said that, I am certainly not going to be the first to stick a finger down a Macropisthodon's throat!!!