Though Bamboo pit vipers are solitary animals, they interact
with many creatures around them.
Here's some examples of the Bamboo pit viper's interactions.
Interactions with other animals:
The Bamboo pit vipers are predators to many small rodents and
amphibians. Predators to the Bamboo pit vipers are large
mammals and birds, such as the
peregrine falcon on the right. How do the predators eat the venomous
snakes? Venom is only harmful in the
bloodstream. When ingested, the venom is degraded by the stomach acid, and thus
the snakes are edible. Most large animals of India do not
have much interaction with the Bamboo pit vipers; the pit viper
venom is not big enough to eat large animals and the Bamboo pit
viper is not prey to most of the large animals.
Interactions with Humans:
Fortunately for us, Bamboo pit viper venom is not toxic enough
to kill animals as large as humans. Now don't think
this means it is alright to poke the viper with a stick, the
venom can still knock you off your feet for a couple days.
That said, like most snakes, the Bamboo pit viper usually will
only strike a human if it feels
threatened, so if you see these
guys in the wild respect their space!
Like most organisms, the Bamboo pit viper existence is
threatened by human expansion into their habitat. With the
jungles of southern India disappearing, the Bamboo pit viper are
disappearing too. Unless deforestation stops soon, the
bamboo pit vipers will become extinct with many other jungle
Venomous snakes are often captured by humans to harvest their
venom. This is used to make antivenin and other important
medication for human interests.
While some people may hope to never have
contact with snakes, we are actually very lucky to have pit
vipers on earth! Pit viper venom has recently been discovered as
a great tool for fighting high blood pressure as a key
ACE inhibitor medication. ACE inhibitors work by
regulating the body's production angiotenzin enzumy (ACE), an
enzyme which produces proteins that constrict the blood vessels.
By decreasing the enzyme production, the blood vessels become
dilated and the patients blood pressure drops. Thus, ACE inhibitors are important medication used for
the treatment of high blood pressure, congestive heart failure,
and many other blood related diseases.
Read some interesting facts about Bamboo
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