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Sun, Feb

Why Tiger Snakes Are on a Winner

Typography

Australian tiger snakes have “hit the jackpot” because prey cannot evolve resistance to their venom.

Australian tiger snakes have “hit the jackpot” because prey cannot evolve resistance to their venom.

While that may sound foreboding, University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences expert Associate Professor Bryan Fry said this discovery had medical benefit for humans.

That’s because tiger snake antivenom has an extraordinary level of cross reactivity against other snake species, and can therefore neutralise the lethal effects on humans in snakebite cases.

“The level of conservation in the toxin sequences is not only really unusual, but this is why the corresponding tiger snake antivenom is so useful in treatments against bites from many Australian snakes that affect the blood in the same way,” Dr Fry said.

Read more at University of Queensland

Image: Tiger snake. (Credit: Stewart Macdonald)