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El Niño Possibly Spiking Snake Bites Over the Winter – Bonus Rattlesnake Pit GoPro Video

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According to Sciencemag.org: Snakebites are environmental and occupational health hazards that mainly affect rural populations worldwide. The ectothermic nature of snakes raises the issue of how climate change’s impact on snake ecology could influence the incidence of snakebites in humans in ways that echo the increased predation pressure of snakes on their prey. We thus ask whether snakebites reported in Costa Rica from 2005 to 2013 were associated with meteorological fluctuations.

We emphasize El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a climatic phenomenon associated with cycles of other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the region and elsewhere. We ask how spatial heterogeneity in snakebites and poverty are associated, given the importance of the latter for NTDs. We found that periodicity in snakebites reflects snake reproductive phenology and is associated with ENSO. Snakebites are more likely to occur at high temperatures and may be significantly reduced after the rainy season. Nevertheless, snakebites cluster in Costa Rican areas with the heaviest rainfall, increase with poverty indicators, and decrease with altitude. Altogether, our results suggest that snakebites might vary as a result of climate change.

Watch

Michael Delaney of The University of Western Australia lowered his GoPro into a nest of rattlesnakes in Winnett, Montana. Put simply, the serpents were not impressed.

For future knowledge (if you were born on a different planet), do NOT try this at home:

Took this video of the rattlesnake den today, Snake strikes GoPro and knocks it into the pit of snakes, I used a hockey stick to fish it out. #GoPro #rattlesnakesSubscribe to my YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/c/mjdelaney44

Posted by Michael J Delaney on Friday, October 9, 2015

He posted this video on Facebook saying, “Just got some great rattlesnake footage, the GoPro was knocked off the stick from a snake striking it and landed in a ball of snakes. Fished it out with a hockey stick, just got done cleaning the venom off my GoPro.”

We apologize if you already are or if this story made you a Ophidiophob.

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