Venomous Snake 'Olympics' in Australia

3/24/2010 12:49:00 PM ·

We think of snakes as spiritual, yet terrifying creatures, that on some occasions we meet with trembling eyes. Most of us never dream of ever coming close to investigate them further, let alone include ourselves in a daring race of vigilance, speed, and sheer ability to squeeze the life out of a human or another animal.

In a recent competition in Austraila, deemed the "Snake Olympics", several different species of snakes competed in sprint trials in a racetrack, tongue flicking, thrashing, biting when held, and wrapping around other bodies. What was the reasoning behind this bizarre, yet stated as an "educational" experience?

The participants were being observed to see how they would react in certain environmental situations. The were poked and prodded, so I'm imagining the competition wasn't all that enjoyable for them.

According to Discovery News, both the small-eyed snakes (Cryptophis nigrescens) and broad-headed snakes (Hoplocephalus bungaroides)— were selected to participate in the trials.
Many of the trials included varying temperatures to see how both species would react in abnormal conditions. Consequently, they also underwent testing determined by lightness and darkness.

To see the results of the tests, and read more about the Snake Olympics, check out Discovery News.

Sources

© 2007 David Fischer Photo Cryptophis nigrescens
Eastern Small-eyed Snake

AVRU Hoplocephalus bungaroides

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