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Venomous Varanids

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by murrindindi, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Darkbird and EctoJoJo like this.
  2. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Going to have to try and finish reading that when I'm awake, lol. Had to get up at 2am for work, and I can't wrap my brain around anything that technical this early. Looks interesting though.
     
  3. EctoJoJo

    EctoJoJo Well-Known Member

    This is also taking me a bit longer to get through than expected - but as someone who has had several near death experiences with septic shock, I can see where the compounded toxin symptoms would lead people to assume severe infection from a bite.
     
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    If anyone has any questions don`t hesitate to ask (bearing in mind I may not be able to answer them)! ;)
     
  5. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    I would be interested to see whether there is any research done on V. exanthematicus. Is it safe to say most varanids produce atleast some of the toxins mentioned? This explains some of the feeding behavior I have observed. Is there a correlation between the tooth serration and potency of venom?
     
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    It`s pretty safe to say most species are venomous, work still to be done on the frugivorous/folivorous types. The glands are present in V. exanthematicus and the other blunt toothed African species, again work needs to be done but I expect they are venomous, it would be of benefit to the hatchlings/juveniles because they have the sharp dentition, the tooth form changes through ontogeny.
    I asked Bryan (BGF) some years ago about the African species but at that time he said he didn`t have an answer (yet)...
    As far as I`m aware there is no correlation between tooth serration and venom potency, although obviously serrated teeth are likely to create a bigger wound thereby allowing more venom to enter.
    Which feeding behaviours have you observed which would indicate venom was being used?
     
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  7. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    Like was mentioned in the article, violent shaking of larger prey items, and excessive gnawing (I have noticed this with larger worms, superworms earthworms etc, and often with prey items unfamiliar to my monitor)
    I have also noticed with multiple prey items present, she will at times grab one, gnaw on it for a second, then drop it to chase down another, to eat that one and then come back to the first one to finish it off. A few times ive noticed the prey item dropped (in the case of crickets) seems to still be fairly sound; I would expect it to be able to atleast hobble away, but instead can only lay on it's back slowly kicking it's legs. And in the case of worms, when dropped they seem to swiftly lose strength and be unable to wriggle anywhere.
     
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I`m not sure they need to use venom on very small prey (such as many insects) the force of the bite itself would be sufficient, although some of the inverts they have access to in the wild are quite large so it may be of some benefit with those. The hatchlings and juveniles quite regularly take frogs so venom may help subdue those. Violently shaking the prey is a way of disorienting it, again not necessarily to envenom it.
     
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  9. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    Interesting. Thanks for explaining this.
     
  10. dp428

    dp428 Established Member

    Sorry came into this a little late without reading the article. Is my Savannah Monitor venomous? this doesn't really worry me but I just curious if that's something I need to look into
     
  11. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    I think the consensus was "probably". Will it harm you? Very unlikely you will even notice it's effects if bitten. The expression "venomous" here is probably in a very wide sense of the term.
     
  12. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member


    Hi, I think it`s safe to say they are venomous but of no danger to ourselves.
     
  13. dp428

    dp428 Established Member

    Awesome! My gf freaked out when I said our sav was venomous. can give her a little peace of mind now
     

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