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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2014 at 3:28pm
worth reading just for the 'whole in one' pun, I'd say..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2014 at 6:34pm
I wonder if the frog survived more than a few hours after the encounter? I've seen several die within 12 hours after attempted takes by grass snakes. Always wondered if it was a form of shock or if grassies actually have something in their saliva that causes it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2014 at 6:56pm
Hi Gemma

I am trying desperately to find the relevant paper, but some research was carried out a (very) few years back which showed that most non-boid snakes had venom glands and produced venom. Many of them, of course, like the Grass Snake lack an effective means of delivery.

If memory serves me correctly, Tony Phelps had a reasonably bad experience with a Smooth Snake once - I think mainly because they chew! If he is reading perhaps he will confirm - or tell me I'm hallucinating!

Chris
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2014 at 6:58pm
Hi Chris - you beat me to it, I was going to add the same comment - I think there is a German-sounding name for the glands that produce the mild venom, but I can't remember the name at the moment...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2014 at 7:10pm
ROFL - you and me both Will. Probably the man who can enlighten us is Wolfgang WΓΌster who gave a talk about this at an FBH Conference a few years back. He is a member of the forum, and occasionally posts so .............

Yooohoo ................Wolfgang

Chris 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2014 at 7:35pm
Duvernoy's glands - it came to me over my dinner, just in case Wolfgang doesn't pick up on this!  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2014 at 8:50pm
Well remembered Will. And that opens things wide to numerous papers on the internet.

The summary appears to be that these glands, which are present in all but about 17% of colubrids,  produce a variety of chemicals, the purpose of which is not known (my thought - at least in part to aid digestion) some of which are toxic. Like the venoms of viperids and elapids a number of complex (albeit different) proteins are produced. These only flow into the mouth rather than "pressured" as in viperids and elapids. There is some observational evidence to suggest that it does actually serve as venom to at least sedate prey. It is probably unwise to refer to such animals "venomous" as this ability is very limited and does not appear to be a primary means of prey subjugation or defense.

Chris

I think that sums it up!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2014 at 8:09am
Excellent that solves that one then! 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2014 at 10:03am
yes it's fascinating that, whilst not being venomous in the classic sense of actively injecting toxins into the prey, a combination of the toxins in the saliva and the puncturing of the prey by their numerous teeth apparently gives even a grass snake some power to paralyse / disable its prey.  A bit like the Komodo dragon, I suppose.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Ford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2014 at 10:34am
Interesting stuff

Back to the story, is it just me (a cynical old git) that can see no way back for that frog..? It seems very unlikely to me that it leapt to safety (not without some kind of intervention). I reckon the story has been changed to give a happy ending (sorry frog lovers!)

Paul
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