How Do Snakes Produce Their Venom?

Nassau County snake

While most snakes are considered harmless, some contain venom that may pose a threat to our safety. They will inject venom to subdue their prey and to defend their life. It is composed of a complex protein that can either paralyze the victim, cause internal bleeding, and destroy the tissues. Luckily, snakes are not aggressive and will only attack if they feel threatened. Additionally, there are also cases of dry bites, or the failure to inject the venom due to various reasons. One of the possible reasons would be a limited amount of venom.

Will Snakes Run Out of Venom?
Snakes are producing venom; however, it may take quite a long time to replenish them once they injected them into their prey. For instance, once the rattlesnake runs out of its venom supply, it will take a full month before the empty venom gland will be wholly replaced with a fresh dose of venom. Since the venomous snakes rely on this toxic substance to immobilize their prey, they can be at a serious disadvantage when they run out of venom. Therefore, some of them will have an outstanding ability to control the dose of venom that they will inject. Additionally, they will not immediately attack a predator. They will first exhibit an elaborate act of aggressiveness. They will only inject the venom as a last resort.

How Do Snakes Control the Dose of Venom?
It would only make sense that snakes will conserve their venom. Producing venom requires a significant amount of energy. Also, as aforementioned, it will take months to replenish the stock. One way of conserving the venom is to control the dose. For instance, some study shows that a significant number of attacks on humans are a case of a dry bite, wherein the snake will not inject any venom. Perhaps the snake realized then that it would be enough to scare the predator simply. Experts believe that snakes have a way of perceiving the level of threat in their environment.

However, some people are also doubtful of the ability of the snake to control the dose of their venom. In some situations, some snakes will administer more venom than what is needed to subdue the prey. They believe that just because the snakes can administer the different levels of venoms in different situations does not necessarily mean that they can already control their venom. Nevertheless, the ability of animals to control the dose of their venom has already been seen on other animals like scorpions, spiders, and a bunch of other venomous creatures.

Snakes will run out of venom. Depending upon the types of venomous snakes, it may run out of venom after a couple of consecutive attacks. Even though they have a limited supply of venom, these snakes can still bite and cause severe injuries to their victims. After their venom has been emptied, they will need some time to replenish the supply and recover before they can discharge the venom again. Go back to the home page: Snakes of Nassau County