Garter snakes: Venomous or not?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by StephenA, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    A neighbor of mine seems to think garter snakes are venomous, but I am certain they aren't. He argues up and down that they are and that the venom doesn't affect humans. I keep telling him he's wrong, but he says I am. He also said that he read about them being venomous on the internet, which I highly doubt So who is right?
     
  2. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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  3. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    I've been around garter snakes many times and have never been bit by one or have known anyone to have gotten sick by being bit by one.
     
  4. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    No they are not venomous. Just leave them alone and they'll go about their normal business.


    Jeff
     
  5. Brian Mansure

    Brian Mansure Second Unit

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  6. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    They'll probably bite if provoked, but I've never known them to be poisonous.
     
  7. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I recall quite sometime ago of hearing of a case where someone was poisoned by a garter snake, however they believe the poison was left over from a frog the snake had eaten, or something like that, and it just infected the wound. I've never heard that they were poisonous though.

    I guess the question is how do they kill their prey? I thought they were constrictors, which would eliminate the need for poison, but I might be wrong.
     
  8. Topher

    Topher Stunt Coordinator

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    They are most definitely not poisonous (at least not the ones in Southwestern VA)I have been around then my whole life and even bitten once and it didn't affect me at all. [​IMG]
     
  9. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  10. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    It seems I've heard of one or more anecdotal reports of minor envenomations attributed to a garter snake, but they are almost universally regarded as nonvenomous.

    I've been bitten by one with only minor scratches inflicted. Mind you this is no evidence, since even the most deadly snakes can bite while injecting little or no venom into the victim.
     
  11. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I'd say what people mistake for venom would be an allergic reaction to the saliva
     
  12. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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  13. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Garter snakes are not venomous. HOWEVER, some people do have allergic reactions to the saliva that Garter snakes emit. More then that, the saliva is also volumous enough that it is used to dilute some of garter snake's victims (small mice, weavels, etc.) and act as a killing agent. But, in itself, it is not venomous.

    (Courtesy of Animal Planet)
     

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