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Monday, May 25, 2009

Random Fact of the Day

I just learned that some lizards (e.g. Gila Monsters, Komodo Dragons) are venomous.
MRI scans of a preserved skull showed the presence of two poison glands in the lower jaw. They extracted one of these glands from the head of a terminally ill specimen in the Singapore Zoological Gardens, and found that it secreted a venom containing several different toxic proteins. The known functions of these proteins include inhibition of blood clotting, lowering of blood pressure, muscle paralysis, and the induction of hypothermia, leading to shock and loss of consciousness in envenomated prey.
I'd always heard what had been previously believed - that they merely had toxic bacteria in their mouths that was transferred in bites.

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