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Rattlesnakes have different regions different poison. It is a consequence of the "arms race&quo

The results of three years of work by a team of biologists from Ohio State University show that the venom of rattlesnakes from different places have different characteristics to operate as efficiently as possible prey. In the case of rattlesnakes it is important because their food, ground squirrels Veveri have developed resistance against their venom. However, knowledge can come in handy when preparing sera against snake venom.

The discovery that he came associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology Matthew Holding, may have far-reaching implications for evolutionary and molecular biology. But it will also have a purely practical contribution to the development sera against snake bites. "Our research could lead to more efficient levels. This can be useful if he ever find yourself on the wrong side of a rattlesnake, "said Holding.

What Matthew Holding out? Active ingredients are poison for individual local populations north-Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus) "calibrated" so as to best operate against syslům veveřím (Otospermophilus beecheyi). These agile rodents had been busy gradually in evolutionary arms race trying to gain an advantage: in their bodies can develop antibodies snake venom.

Holding taking poison carried out in the field, in twelve different locations in California. And then he could in the lab to observe how toxins samples behave when in contact with blood gophers Vevera from home, neighborhood, and remote locations.

Smaller activity poison in the blood after half an hour observation in a petri dish labeled that the rodent would have on the ground in a meeting with a rattlesnake better chance of survival. Differences in blood activity were clearly seen and shown that ground squirrels from remote locations to poison were up to three times more durable. Rattlesnake venom was programmed to kill gophers from the locality where he lives and the snake had performed fewer individuals living in the neighborhood snake territory. It is interesting that in the laboratory wars between toxins and serums in 8 of 12 cases led the Rattlers.

"In terms of evolutionary biology from local gophers, we expect a stronger response, respectively, greater resistance to the poison," said Holding. "They have for a stronger motivation. Gophers who poison neustojí are dead. Hadi, who stopped poison prey, are just out to lunch. "

The idea that a predator is gradually evolving along with his prey, in tandem, is not new in evolutionary biology. Holdingův research but brings a new perspective on how such co-evolution of geographically uneven progress. And there is no one size fits all and good acting poison, as well as the arms race does not necessarily win the strongest.

Author: R. Dohnal

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