How North Carolina Snakes Produce their Venom

The venom of the Greensboro snake is an evolved type of saliva. The standard type of saliva is composed of digestive enzymes that will help breakdown the food as we chew them. Through evolution, some snakes have been granted with a venomous enzyme in their saliva to subdue their prey. The venom of the snake is a combination of various proteins. This is made up of 24 varieties of toxins that can cause different effects. It is quite surprising how protein that is essential to humans can turn into something that is deadly.

A Guide on How Snakes Produce their Venom
The gland that stores the saliva of the snakes was developed around 60 million years ago. Since then, various types of snakes have developed toxic venoms that they use to subdue their target. Different types of venom will attack the various cells in our body in a different manner.

Producing the Venom
Venom is produced in the venom gland of the snakes. It is comprised of three types of cells namely secretory, mitochondria-rich, and basal cell. The production of the venom is also regulated by the venom gland. Just like the muscles and bones in the jaw of the snakes, this gland can also work independently. This unique gland also features baro-sensitive cells. These are cells that are sensitive on pressure. The pressure of the fluid made inside the gland would determine the volume of the venom of the snake.

Injecting Venom
The venom will be released by the venom gland and will be carried to the fangs of the Greensboro snake. The venom will flow through the accessory gland. This gland will prevent the venom from being wasted. It will not have any smooth muscle and will simply be regulated by the striated muscle. Accessory gland is within the snake’s voluntary control. Therefore, they can control the volume of venom that they can inject upon biting their prey. Usually, the secretions on the accessory gland will mix with the venom that will make the venom more potent.

The Fangs of the Snake
Upon closer inspection, you will notice how the fangs of the snake will have a cone shape. It is curved and the inside will be hollowed that makes it possible to inject venom. In case the fangs has been damaged or lost, the snake can replace them. There are also species of snakes that have replacement ready that remains in a suspended position. Development of this replacement fang will start once the fangs were lost. The fang is the usual place of envenoming. However, there are also species of snake that can spit their venom.

Remember that there may be several differences when it comes to the anatomy of various venomous snakes. There are snakes that will have bony ridges on their eyes, and other will have flat tails. The delivery and production of the venom can also differ. This article is simply intended to provide you an overview on how the venom are produced and injected to their prey.

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