The world's most poisonous snake can kill 50 people with a single attack


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Weekly, BBC Focus magazine resolves some doubts from its readers. Next, a selection of your answers for curious.

Do all dogs descend from wolves?

Yes. Before the advent of DNA sequencing, it was believed that jackals and coyotes could be ancestors of dogs along with wolves, but this has been refuted.

The Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) was domesticated for the first time sometime 15,000 and 33,000 years ago, probably with the raising of orphaned wolf cubs that had been hunted.

Gradually, selective breeding favored the traits or characteristics that were most useful to humans.

Some modern breeds, such as Alsatian dogs, may be the result of subsequent crossings with wolves, made in order to reintroduce some of the wild features.

What happens to worms when the ground is flooded?

Earthworms have no lungs or gills. They absorb oxygen directly through their moist skin.

Therefore they do not drown and can survive for several weeks in the water if it remains oxygenated.

However, in waterlogged soils, the oxygen disperses more slowly and the roots of the plants absorb the little that is available, so the oxygen in the worm burrow can quickly deplete.

Some species have low enough metabolic rates to tolerate this, but the common earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris, it comes to the surface after a heavy rain to take air, until it drains the ground.

What fills the space that remains when oil is extracted?

The oil fields are not vast caves filled with oil that leave empty when the liquid is pumped. Rather, the crude is filtered through layers of sandstone or limestone and accumulates in places where an impermeable layer of rock prevents it from rising to the surface.

Extracting oil is more like sucking on a sponge than drinking with a straw. When the oil comes out, the pressure of the surrounding rock forces the entry of water into the empty spaces.

As oil is extracted, more and more water comes out with it, until it is no longer profitable to continue removing it.

Interior Taipan

The interior taipan He lives mostly in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. In an attack, he is able to inject about 60 mg of venom, enough to kill more than 50 adults of medium size, or 20,000 mice. Other estimates suggest that an inside taipan bite may contain enough poison to kill 125 adults or 253,000 mice.

Be that as it may, its poison is 200-500 times more toxic than most rattlesnakes and 50 times more toxic than that of a cobra.

It measures approximately 1.80 meters in length, although longer specimens can reach two meters. Their diet is predominantly composed of small rodents, small birds, rats and rarely marsupials from Australia.

The most poisonous sea snake is the Dubois snake. The shallow waters of the coral reefs of Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and the northern, eastern and western coastal areas of Australia usually inhabit.

The world's most poisonous snake can kill 50 people with a single attack

The world's most poisonous snake can kill 50 people with a single attack

Rusell's Viper (Vipera Russellii)

Although it ranks last on our toxicity list, It is the viper that probably produces the greatest number of serious and fatal bites worldwide. His poison possesses a powerful coagulant It damages tissues and blood cells. Lives in Sri Lanka, South of China, India, Java, Sumatra, Borneo and surrounding islands. Its color is light brown with dark brown spots. In adulthood it does not exceed one and a half meters in length.

Note 1: After receiving a large number of messages and emails from our readers, and given its toxicity, we have included the black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) in our list of most poisonous snakes on the planet.

Black mamba

It is without a doubt the snake Africa's most poisonous. Its average measure is 2.5 meters, but copies of more than 4 meters have been found. His name is derived from the black coloration inside his mouth. The actual skin color varies from green (matt or yellowish) to metallic gray. Is the fastest snake in the world, capable of moving from 4.5 to 5.4 meters per second (16 to 20 km / h)

The black mamba weighs an average of 1.6 kilograms and they live approximately 11 years in the wild. The black mamba lives in Africa in the following countries: Northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, southwest of Sudan, in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Eastern Uganda, Tanzania, south of Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana and Namibia.

Although it is not common to find it above a height of 1,000 meters there are records of specimens at 1,800 meters in Kenya and 1,650 meters in Zambia. The black mamba has adapted to a variety of climates ranging from the savanna, the forests, the rocky slopes, the dense forests and also in wet swamps.

The black mamba uses its speed to escape of threats, not to hunt their prey. His behavior is shy and reserved, usually tries to escape when a confrontation occurs. If a black mamba feels cornered and her attempt to scare away the attacker fails can inject large amounts of poison.

The black mamba is a snake daytime. Although its scientific name seems to be indicative of climbing trees, black mamba can rarely be found in them. The poison of the black mamba is mainly composed of neurotoxins. His bite injected from 100 to 120 mg of venom on averageHowever, up to 400 mg can be injected.

The mortality rate of their bites is close to 100%, unless the victim is treated promptly with the antifungal serum. A black mamba can potentially kill a human being within 20 minutes, but death usually occurs after 30 to 60 minutes. The mortality factor depends on the health, size, age, psychological state of the human person, the penetration of one or two fangs, the amount of poison injected, the place of the bite, and the proximity to the main blood vessels. At present there is a multipurpose anti-chemistry produced by SAIMR (South African Institute for Medical Research) for the treatment of all black mamba bites.

Common bite symptoms are: rapid onset of dizziness, cough or shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat. Mamba venom causes death by suffocation as a result of respiratory muscle paralysis.

The black mamba is one of the most dangerous and feared snakes in Africa, due to its potent venom, its large size, and the ferocity of its attacks. However, incidents with humans are rare, since this snake, he prefers to avoid us (surely it is in his genes to escape from his greatest predator).

Note 2: For being the most dangerous snake in America we could be part of this list to the snake Nauyaca Real or Velvet (Bothrops asper). More information


"On the Distribution of the Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) in West Africa". Journal of Herpetology Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

Erudite Explorations, Worlds Top 10 Most Poisonous Venomous Toxic Snakes, Wikipedia, Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network

Cover photo Cobra Real


Snakes inhabit almost all climates on Earth, mainly in the equatorial regions, except at the poles and at altitudes greater than 4500 m. Of the 2700 species of snakes that inhabit the planet only the 10 % They are "potentially" dangerous for man.