Snake Myth Debunked Thanks to New High-Speed Video
Harmless snakes can strike their prey just as quickly as venomous vipers—putting a legendary Wild West tale to rest.
High-speed cameras have finally debunked a long-held myth: That venomous vipers such as rattlesnakes have much faster strikes than nonvenomous snakes.
In some cases, harmless snakes actually have speedier strikes.
“If you put me up against a wall, shined a bright light in my eyes, and asked me if large-bodied vipers had faster strikes, I’d say, ‘Yeah, they probably do,’” says Rick Shine of Australia’s University of Sydney, who wasn’t involved with the research. “I was the victim of a very common misconception.”