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"Mark A. Metz" <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 16 Apr 2004 17:05:28 -0500
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Actually, Komodo dragons do not have a venom, but there is quite a flora of
bacteria in their saliva that causes its bite to become septic in only a
matter of days.  The infection becomes systemic and brings down the prey.
Some sources report that the dragon will follow a prey item for weeks until
it drops.
Both the Gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard have a true venom in
their saliva.  I don't know if the venom is neurotoxic or necrotic, but
considering its capture technique (grab and hold) it's probably a neurotoxin
that helps to subdue prey items.

I have not seen the SA cover either, but I would think the majority of
reptiles have pretty moist mouths despite the habitat of some species (i.e.,
desert).  I have seen several images of geckos with bubbles of saliva around
the lips and tongue.  Any snake I've kept that backed off of a
mouse/rat/lizard left a pretty wet mess behind.
But who's to say about the thunder lizards!?

Dr. Mark A. Metz
Research Affiliate
Center for Biodiversity
Illinois Natural History Survey
607 East Peabody Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
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