The Tiger Keelback Snake Is Double Trouble

The tiger keelback snake, also called the yamakagashi, is a venomous snake found in Asia. In addition to having venom that it can inject through its fangs, it also has defensive glands on the back of its neck that can contain poison. The snake doesn't make the poison itself, however—it stores it after eating poison toads. Mother tiger keelback snakes can even transfer some of the toad poison to their offspring, leaving them better able to fend off predators. When threatened, the snakes present these glands so that whatever is trying to eat them might get a mouthful of toxins instead.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Poison can be inhaled, eaten, or absorbed, whereas venom has to be injected into a wound. 00:18

  2. More than 20% of snake bites are "dry" bites, meaning the snake did not inject venom into the victim's bloodstream. 00:30

  3. The tiger keelback snake can be both venomous and poisonous. 01:00

Written by Curiosity Staff August 3, 2015