Do snakes run out of venom?
There are not a large number of snakes that produce venom, but there are enough to cause you to be much more cautious should you approach a snake. If you come in contact with the poisonous kind they can be quite dangerous to you. Some even have the ability to kill you which makes it so that you have to be quite careful when dealing with these reptiles.
While there are those snakes that can produce venom and inject it into their victims, you may wonder if a snake can run out of venom? That is a good question.
Consider first that a snake produces its own venom. This is done in special glands that are inside the mouth. Scientists believe that these glands were once salivary glands that later evolved into being able to produce the venom.
It is because of this that a snake at times can actually run out of venom. The production is totally dependent upon the amount of venom that can be produced by these glands. That is not a particularly high amount. It is usually enough for two or three bites before the glands are out and more has to be produced. The production rate can vary as well, but can take a few minutes to an hour before venom is produced to a degree that it can be used to attack with.
There is then the issue with how much venom can be stored. This venom is stored in the glands in its mouth, but there is only a limited amount of space that the glands have. This can mean that, at most, the snake will store just enough for three or four bites, and that is all it can store. This means that the snake has to be careful of how much biting it does. If it runs out of the venom then it does not have a huge advantage over the animals it attacks.
So how long does it take for it to reproduce the venom? For the majority of snakes this is not a protracted issue at all. A snake produces venom much in the same way that you produce saliva. This is part of the reason why scientists believe that it came from salivary glands originally. It can take a few moments to a few minutes in most snakes to be able to produce the venom again, so it can go about biting at will.
However, they still need to be careful. Just as you can have an instance where you can get a dry mouth where you cannot produce much saliva, this can be true of a snake as well. When that happens it is greatly limited and it can take a few minutes to an hour to be able to produce venom again.
Read more: Snake Control
, Venomous Snakes of Florida
, How to Identify Snakes
, How to Kill Snakes