6

I'm in a locality where I can find snakes walking around with ease. Its probable that I will also find the snake's baby (sized 4-5 inches).

Whenever we encounter any such child some people at locality say "Don't touch it with hand, it can be as dangerous as adult snake."

But I don't think so, because at such less age their venom gland won't be developed so much (to harm a human being).

Perhaps the question that I am posed most often relates to the relative danger of young versus adult rattlesnakes.

Are Bites from Baby Venomous Snakes More Dangerous Than Those From Adults?

Are they true? Or am I wrong?

8
  • 3
    some venoms will be potent enough to kill you with just a drop, sometimes enough is enough – ratchet freak Oct 10 '12 at 6:46
  • @ratchetfreak of a 5 inch long child snake? I doubt if its diameter was more than 3 millimeters. – Santosh Kumar Oct 10 '12 at 6:50
  • 4
    That'd depend on the species. In many the juveniles will produce the same venom as adults, albeit in smaller quantities. And being more vulnerable, they may well be much more agressive and thus more likely to bite. You'd have to check a biology department or maybe a vet or zoo for information on specific species. – jwenting Oct 10 '12 at 7:05
  • 1
    I don't understand your reasoning. Why would the venom from a younger snake be any less dangerous than an older one? What would it mean for a venom gland to be "less developed"? It is a property that doesn't seem to apply to saliva glands or tear glands, for example. – Oddthinking Oct 10 '12 at 12:41
  • 1
    @Oddthinking one theory is that younger snakes cannot yet control the quantity of poison they release. – Sklivvz Oct 10 '12 at 14:08
7

Some people believe the opposite:

The legend goes that young snakes have not yet learned how to control the amount of venom they inject. They are therefore more dangerous than adult snakes

...

although it’s possible that this legend is true and baby snakes are more dangerous than adults because they haven’t learned to control the amount of venom they inject when they bite, it’s safe to say this is unlikely to be the case. Due to the complexities of the original question, I doubt this statement will ever be tackled in a manner that sufficiently addresses all of its assumptions. But until then, try not to get bitten by any venomous snakes, no matter how old they are.

From Are Bites from Baby Venomous Snakes More Dangerous Than Those From Adults?

An excerpt froma book authored by William K. Hayes, Department of Earth and Biological Sciences, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350 USA.


Another article examines the myth that young snakes are more dangerous:

When [young] snakes bite, they typically bite hard, pumping the attacker full of every last bit of venom. If a young venomous snake’s bite were to be more dangerous than an adult’s, this would be the only way.

References are
Ernst, Carl H. 1992. Venomous Reptiles of North America. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.
Mehrtens, John M. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. Sterling Press, New York, New York

1
  • Someone just repeated this rumour on Facebook, and I came back to find out if it was true... and found this didn't really answer the question. – Oddthinking Oct 22 '15 at 4:23

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .