CZAAWE Resource Article

Strike-induced chemosensory searching in venomoid pit vipers at Hogle Zoo
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Zoo Biology
Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430100203.abs Six pit vipers with ligated and severed venom ducts were each observed twice. In the no-strike trial a rodent was presented for 3 sec but held (on tongs) out of striking range. The strike trial began with a 3 sec presentation, but the prey item was then moved into striking range, and all snakes immediately struck and released the rodents. Prey were removed after no-strike and strike presentations and the rate of tongue flicking was recorded for 30 min. Only strike presentations were followed by high rates of tongue flicking, which were indistinguishable from those seen in pit vipers with functioning venom apparatus. We conclude that venom injection is irrelevant for the causation of strike-induced chemosensory searching.