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207777.  Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:11 am Reply with quote

The Spitting Cobra's spits it's venom into it's victim's, I would suggest that not all venom needs to be injected.



Dangerous Hamster
207779.  Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:18 am Reply with quote

I wonder then if the Spitting Cobras 'venom' can actually be called venom ? At the same time though spitting cobras can still inject the venom via the same fangs... a poison still has to be ingested and having it in your eyes doesn't really count surely ?


207783.  Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:34 am Reply with quote

Why not? The SC's venom is inimicable to health and is definitely toxic. Just because it does not have to be injected, it does not make it any less venomous.

Does a poison have to be swallowed? Not at all. It could enter through skin pores, for example.



Dangerous Hamster
207798.  Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:23 am Reply with quote

Tas wrote:
But are all snakes venomous in the same way? Do all the venoms have to be injected into the blood stream?



Venoms don't have to be injected into the blood stream. Most venoms are actually (if memory serves me right) neurotoxins that effect the muscle and nerves. The toxin then spreads out from the initial injection rather that being carried around the blood stream effecting other parts of the body.

Also to throw another spanner in the works, a box jelly fish is apparently venomous ? Not sure how that fits in ?

515453.  Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:02 pm Reply with quote

There are some poisonous animals, such as the Slow Loris. The Loris has glands on its elbows that secrete a poison, which they paint onto their young in order to make them less palatable prey.

any jones
704070.  Sat May 01, 2010 6:41 am Reply with quote

King Cobra injects largest amount of venom per bite.

Sadurian Mike
704082.  Sat May 01, 2010 7:01 am Reply with quote

Are you sure? I thought that that honour went to the Gaboon Viper.

704221.  Sat May 01, 2010 12:45 pm Reply with quote


Sadurian Mike
704269.  Sat May 01, 2010 3:04 pm Reply with quote

That made me scurry to Google!

A few sites mention that it produces "Approximately 450-600 mg of venom is produced, only 90 mg need to prove fatal to humans." (

I've got Wiki saying that "it has the longest fangs and the highest venom yield of any venomous snake."
That phrase appears on several sites so I'm guessing they've just copied it.

I have a site dealing with treating snakebites which says; "The Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica) is considered to produce more venom than any other venomous snake."

We also have; "The Gaboon also has the distinction of have the longest fangs and the most copious amounts of venom of any other snake."

That's all I want to dig around for (having spent 15 minutes already). It was just something I "knew", probably as a result of watching too much National Geographic and Discovery channels.

704736.  Sun May 02, 2010 3:45 pm Reply with quote

According to the Wikipedia article about King Cobras:

The King Cobra is also capable of delivering larger quantities of venom than most other venomous snakes, injecting a 380-600 mg dose in a single bite. This quantity is enough to kill 20-40 grown men or even an elephant.

The Wikipedia article about Gaboon Vipers says:

Spawls and Branch (1995) state that from 5–7 ml (450–600 mg) of venom may be injected in a single bite.[3]

Sadurian Mike
704742.  Sun May 02, 2010 3:58 pm Reply with quote

Gaboon Viper wins on the minimums, but the maximums appear to be a dead heat.

My advice is therefore not be bitten by either.

704752.  Sun May 02, 2010 4:08 pm Reply with quote

Sound thinking there, Mike.

Sadurian Mike
705489.  Tue May 04, 2010 1:46 pm Reply with quote

On similar lines, I've just read this Swiss report of dealing with a Gaboon viper bite.

The snake breeder had been bitten and had managed to call the ambulance, but this bit had me lolling away at the irony:

At the same time the local poison controller was sought via the local police. The pager in the patient’s trouser pocket, however, indicated that he was actually the person sought.

I suppose it wouldn't have been so funny had he died, of course.

1317514.  Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:28 am Reply with quote

I love snakes and have considerable experience with them, including 'hots' (venemous.)

Just to tackle a few bits of mis-info in this thread...

* Poison vs Venom
Poisons must be ingested, inhaled or absorbed
Venom must be injected into the body by mechanical means.
Not all venoms are poisonous, but if you have ulcer... beware!
Oh, and beware... fangs, etc. may carry toxins even after being removed/shed/used meaning you may even get a chance to envenomate YOURSELF!

* Poisonous
There are 'poisonous' snakes
Rhabdophis tigrinis (Tiger Keelback) stores toxins in nuchal glands, acquired from the toads they eat.
Thamnophis sirtalis (Common Garter Snake) retains toxins in their livers from eating newts.
Both are poisonous to eat, the first being fully venomous as well, though see the next point.

Poisonous doesn't mean dangerous...
- many vitamins & essential minerals are famously toxic but necessary for life, depending on dose and method of application. :-)

* Venemous
ALL snakes are technically venemous -
Snake venom (and reptile, in general) is an adapted saliva consisting of complex components (mainly proteins & polypeptides with enzymes, etc.)
The bite of your average non-venomous snake may still have an effect beyond simple saliva function - for example, a bite from a Pantherophis guttatus (Corn Snake) will result in very little damage (unless the target pulls away - snake teeth are designed to hold and it may take the snake a moment or two to release it's target) but the wound site will bleed for an extended length of time as a result of an anti-coagulant effect from the 'saliva.'

Poisonous/venemous don't mean dangerous...
- a money spider is venemous (ALL spiders are) and a hippo isn't - which would you get bitten by? :-)

* Notes...
As a Gaboon Viper keeper you are often advised that, if bitten on the hand, then press the fangs THROUGH your hand so the venom is pumped into the air the other side rather than into you! Their fangs may be 5cm (2in) long and they can stike at full body length in ANY direction, unlike many other snakes which have angles and directions they are more limited to (e.g. Rearing cobras strike downwards and most snakes can only reach a much smaller proportion of their body length - usually a 1/3 to 2/3).

There are so many ways of measuring venemous impact that you need to clarify what you're asking...
Snake with highest LD50? Oxyuranus microlepidotus (Inland taipan) - murine LD 50 value of 0.025 mg/kg SC - but we aren't mice.
Snake with highest mortality rate? Dendroaspis polylepis (Black Mamba) - though as an almost pure neurotoxic it's potentially survivable without antivenon given the correct care.
Snake with highest dead toll? Echis spp. (Saw-scaled Vipers) - usually bare-footed rural Indian children. :-(
Snake with most venom? Gaboon Viper, though King Cobra is also a contender. Both around 7ml though the King's venom is less potent.
So what about most likely to envemonate? Fastest acting venom? etc. Each question has a different 'Top 10' and some animals haven't been linked to a death in decades!

Other interesting venomous animals include Shrews, other poisonous animals include some birds, and the Slow Loris is a beautiful example of a mammel that is both! :-D

[Some links:

1317561.  Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:44 pm Reply with quote

As a firm herpetophobe, I keep it simple by avoiding all snakes on principle.


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