Trivia question for Jul-20-2011

Posted on Jul 20, 2011 in Trivia

Olivia was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to hold a Ball Python last week while we were in FL visiting Carmel at the Sawgrass Recreation Center in their Wildlife Rescue Center, so it is no surprise that she decided to feature a snake in her trivia this week.  These guys are in the viper family and they sense warm-blooded prey through pits on each side of its head.

Adults usually grow to a total length of 20–37 in, although some may exceed 3.3 ft. Males are usually larger than females. The maximum length reported for this species is 53.0 in. The color pattern consists of a pale tan to pinkish tan ground color that becomes darker towards the midline, overlaid with a series of 10-18 (13.4) cross-bands. Characteristically, both the ground color and cross-band pattern are pale.

So here are Olivia’s questions:  Tell us what this snake is and tell us something unique about the way their young hunt for food.?  Also, tell us 3 different medical uses for their venom?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations goes out to Carmel from Cooper City FL for getting the species correct and to Ruthi from Pittsburgh, PA for correctly listing some of the medical uses for their venom.  The snake we featured is the Copperhead Snake.  These snakes are a species of venomous snake found in North America, a member of the Crotalinae (pit viper) subfamily. The more common name for the species is “copperhead”.

Here you can clearly see the yellow tip of their tails which they use to attract prey

Young copperheads use the bright yellow tips of their tails as a lure to attract prey.  The venom from copperheads has been used to aid blood clotting in hospitals.  It is also used in the treatment of epilepsy, neurasthenia, chorea and shell-shock.  The venom of the Southern copperhead has been found to hold a protein called “Contortrostatin” that halts the growth of cancer cells and also stops the migration of the tumors to other sites. It will probably be ten or more years before contortrostatin is used in practical treatment but it has shown to be a very promising drug in laboratory studies.

Here is more on these guys: Copperhead Snake

Thanks for playing along 😉