Snake Bite And Poisoning Mechanism
In poisonous snakes there is a pair of poison gland with its perfernalia in the head region and one or two pairs of large canaliculized teeth known as fangs. The sac like poison glands are modified salivary glands situated on both sides of the upper jaw below the eyes. The anterior ends of poison glands are provided with ducts which open at the base of each fang. The fangs serve like needles of a hypodermic syringe for injecting poison into the body of the victim. Reserve fangs develop behind the functional pair to replace the original ones when lost.
A number of modifications and specializations have taken place in the skull and jaw bones which are accordingly modified to constitute the biting apparatus. Similarly the concerned muscles are also modified to assist the working of these bones.
When the snake attacks, the mouth opens by lowering the lower jaw by contraction of the concerned muscles. This makes the fangs to be erect which penetrate the muscles of the victim with a thrust due to the closing of the mouth. In the process of closing of the mouth, the lower jaw when moves upward, the muscle over the poison gland are stretched and thus pressing the poison gland. The venom thus reaches the fangs and is injected into the body of tissues of the victim. Then the head is withdrawn by lowering of the lower jaw. This whole process takes place in no time.
Symptoms of poisoning:
Snakes bites show varying symptoms. The Cobra venom is a neurotoxin affecting the nerve centers, paralyzing the muscles especially those concerned with respiratory system. The Viper venom and Krait venom cause haemolysis.
The main symptoms for snake bites are:
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