2 years ago CCAH
| 9 subscribers
2 years ago
The Honey Badger is relatively immune to snake venom. First of all, that thick, loose, skin with the layer of thick slick hair, really does a great job of preventing penetration of fangs. So in general, it's hard to envenomate a honey badger in the first place. But if it is envenomated, I guess it has either special proteins that counteract the proteins in the snake venom, or maybe there's some other mechanism, like a different enzyme or protein structure that the venom is ineffective against. I don't know. Apparently a few animals, like the mongoose, hedgehog, California Ground Squirrel, and even the snake-hunting Secretary Bird are immune to the effects of snake venom. I guess, as with all things in nature, it's a trait that evolved to allow these animals to add poisonous snakes to their diet.
The Honey Badger isn't unique in its ability to hunt, catch and kill snakes. Lots of mammals can do it. Even my fluffy white kitten: can house cats kill snakes could do it. However, it's true that my cat would be toast against a large venomous snake. The Honey Badger is unique in that regard. It's a very ferocious and fearless animal, and it relies less on stealth and agility to kill snakes, and more on brute force and tenacity. A mongoose is more about being agile, darting in and out, and making a strategic kill, but the honey badger kills snakes by barreling in and lunging and biting and swiping without backing off.
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