Possums are found to be immune to the venom of most snakes which makes it perfectly safe to eat snakes. These enzymes wreak havoc inside the bodies of venomous snake-bite victims by causing widespread breakdown of important proteins (proteolyisis) in the tissue surroundings blood vessels and within cells themselves. The study went like this: One set of eight unlucky mice was given a lethal dose of venom. Do not touch the head of the snake because dead snakes can still bite. The Opossum is able to withstand up to 80 Rattlesnake or Coral Snake bites. Will opossums attack my pets? Brushtail possums are much more aggressive usually, and are much more easily drawn into battle. Tests show that their superpower to resist snake venom could be harnessed to save thousands of lives. Inexpensive, too! Sure, they’re ugly. The United States has about 21 species of venomous snakes, which include 16 species of rattlesnakes, two species of coral snakes, 1 species of cottonmouth (or water moccasin), and two species of copperhead.At least one species of venomous snake is found in every state except Hawaii and Alaska.. Though opossums can bite pets, the larger threat is in the diseases they may carry. Please don't kill them! This damage results in hemorrhaging and the release of secondary toxins from injured tissue. And unlike raccoons and skunks, which may attack or spray, respectively, if cornered, one of the opossum’s primary defenses is to feign death (hence the saying “play opossum”) and emit a green, nasty-smelling liquid from its anal glands. Snake tries to get warm: The snake will seek out a basking spot or burrow to warm up and/or avoid the cold. Symptoms vary according to the size and species of snake. Luckily, opossums love to eat ticks. TIL that Opossums can survive up to 80 rattlesnake and coral snake bites. While most animals look at a snake and see danger, a possum sees its next meal. This parasitic organism attacks a horse’s nervous system. Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox. The opossum's apparent immunity to venomous snake bite was first studied in the 1940's. Worldwide, an estimated 421,000 cases of poisonous snake bites and 20,000 deaths from these bites occur yearly, according to the International Society on Toxicology. Q. According to a press release about the research, opossums are apparently immune to the venom from snake bites. Can opossums survive snake bites? But opossums do more for us than we recognize. Each state, county and city will also have laws governing the placement of traps and poison which also must be licensed and used in a particular manner for specific animals or else it will be unlawful. Female opossums can give birth to up to 20 babies at a time. They are immune to the snake venom, and relish copperhead, water moccasins, rattlesnakes, and … Thanks to him, there is an Antidote to poisonous snake venom. According to the International Society on Toxicology, it's estimated that at least 421,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes every year, with 20,000 deaths resulting. Opossums are typically placid creatures, though, and generally will bite only if the opossum feels threatened, especially if cornered, or if it thinks that its young are in danger. We're a nonprofit (so it's tax-deductible), and reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget. Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the, join us with a tax-deductible donation today. Still, “you should never try to pick [an opossum] up or touch or handle or get close enough to any wild animal because you do risk getting bitten,” warns Mizejewski. If all this wasn’t enough evidence for you that the opossum deserves an award for its service to humanity, know that opossums are also some of the animal kingdom’s most devoted mothers. They are wonderful to have in your yard! They are approximately the size of a large cat, with medium-long, brown or gray fur and a long, scaly tail. You shouldn’t use soap with any alcohol or fragrance in it, but just warm water and soap. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. While scientists have known for decades that opossums can survive a snake bite, the research may contribute to developing an anti-venom that will help treat the more than 5 million snakebites that happen worldwide every year. Among all the external parasites that occupy our yards and gardens, ticks are one of the most dangerous. Snake species. This got researchers curious about why that was so and whether they could harness the opossum's antivenom properties for use on humans. In the early 1990's another research group identified a serum protein produced by opossums that neutralized snake venom, and then one researcher found that a small chain of amino acids from the opossums protein, called a peptide, was able to neutralize snake venom. That's right, opossums. What sounds do opossums make? Aside from their impressive tick-consuming ability, opossums boast another superpower: resistance to snake venom. Remember, that your end goal should be to receive anti-venom because without a dose of anti-venom you have almost zero chances of surviving a poisonous snake bite. Related Articles . Unlike skunks and raccoons, opossums are not prone to rabies infections. (4 to 6 kilograms), according to National Geographic. Opossums can also give off a strong, musk-like odor. Not only they have a strong immune system, the body temperature is so low that the virus just can’t survive. This increases one’s risk of a severe secondary infection. These appendages are sometimes used as an extra arm: They can … The only snake they are not immune to is the coral snake. Possums are resistant to venoms of most venomous snakes including the diamond bask rattlesnakes & India’s deadly Russell viper. Thanks to them, there is a new and very inexpensive antidote for many different snake venom. They're your friend Y – popular memes on the site ifunny.co Aside from giving us the phrase "to play possum," it could be argued opossums haven't really contributed all that much to human society. Opossums have super powers. Note the Snake's Appearance. Do Possums Eat Snakes? The Opossum is able to withstand up to 80 Rattlesnake or Coral Snake bites. Egyptian mongooses may be even more venom-indifferent than opossums, but alas, their protections don’t seem to be transferable. True? And although adult opossums may not be blessed with pulchritude, baby opossums are adorable. The highest burden exists in South Asia, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to ticks, Opossums also eat quite a few poisonous snakes and this has caused them to develop a resistance to snake venom. Scientists are studying this resistance in order to create more effective anti-venoms for curing snake bites. Use these tips to lower your families risk. : Regurgitation or vomiting : The snake is too cold to digest food. Hopeful News on Parkinson's: More Than 100 Trials Underway. TODAY'S AMAZON DEALS : … Solution: Opossums prefer to eat the rotting fruit that have fallen to the ground. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. Claire F. Komives, Ph.D., who is at San Jose State University, explains that … The CDC states that the number of people who succumb to venomous snake bites will be much higher if they don’t seek immediate medical treatment. Opossums eat the fruit off my trees. The North American Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is able to survive the bite of the C. atrox (CA) snake. In addition to ticks, Opossums also eat quite a few poisonous snakes and this has caused them to develop a resistance to snake venom. Not so much. Thanks to him, there is an Antidote to poisonous snake venom. With just a few hours, the bite and the venom on the mongoose will be healed by itself. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 1999 and 2007, cats, cows, horses, pigs, raccoons, and “other hoofed livestock” altogether caused 655 deaths as a direct result of animal interaction. Opossum’s May Hold The Key To Curing Snake Bites. Easily housed in a 20-gallon (75-liter) terrarium, the snakes can make wonderful pets. “Just because they’re ugly doesn’t mean that they’re not important and worthy of protecting,” David Mizejewski, a naturalist at the National Wildlife Federation and author of the book Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife, tells Mother Jones. If escape is not possible then the threatened opossum may “play ‘possum”, show its teeth, or bite in self-defense, as any animal would. Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation. : Anorexia: Because a cold snake can’t digest, it will stop eating. With an average lifespan of a year or two, opossums are only on this planet for a short time. The snake attacked by sinking its fangs into the rat’s fur—a maneuver that’s usually followed by near-instant hemorrhaging, clotting in the liver, and cardiac arrest. Again, despite being venomous, Heterodon snakes rarely bite larger creatures, people included. They don't get Rabies and they eat Ticks.. Virginia opossums eat almost anything, from bird eggs to acorns, from slugs and frogs to fruit. Opossums are unusually resistant to snake venom. horticulture club that Opossums can withstand up to 80 rattlesnake or coral snake bites and that, thanks to them, there is an antidote to the venom. They can digest just about anything from small insects, veggies, carrion to fruits. In most of the cases, the snake will give dry bites unless it feels highly vulnerable. Opossums suffer no ill effects from snake bite venom, and prior research has found that a certain protein the creatures possess seems to neutralize the venom. Be ready to describe the snake to emergency staff.