Venom Properties

Most venomous snakes deliver venom to their prey via grooves in their fangs, rather than through a pressurized bolus through hollow fangs. New research shows that these venoms are shear-thinning non-Newtonian fluids. The surface tension of the venom is such that a drop of venom will tend to flow into and down the groove. Once moving, the shear-thinning properties of the venom decrease the venom’s viscosity, increasing its flow rate down the fang and into the snake’s prey. (via Scientific American; Photo: green mamba, banded snake fang)

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