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Snake Bite

Categories: Accidents, Emergencies and Poisons

Naturalists have discovered twenty-seven species of poisonous
serpents and one poisonous lizard; eighteen species of these are true

rattlesnakes; the remaining nine are divided between varieties of the

moccasin, copperhead or the viper. The poisonous lizard is the Texan

reptile known as the "Gila Monster." In all these serpents the poison

fluid is secreted in a gland which lies against the side of the skull

below and behind the eye, from which a duct leads to the base of a hollow

tooth or fang, one on each side of the upper jaw; which fang, except in

the case of vipers, is movable and susceptible of erection and depression.

When not in use the fang hugs the upper jaw and is ensheathed in a fold of

mucous membrane. In the vipers the fang is permanently erect. In the case

of biting the contents of the poison sac are forcibly ejected through the

hollow fang.