Decapitated Snake Head Nearly Kills Man—Here’s How
Scientists warn that rattlesnakes can remain dangerous long after they are dead.
A Texas man was doing yard work when he spotted a four-foot rattlesnake. He beheaded the snake with a shovel—but when he went to dispose of it, the severed head bit him.
According to media reports, the man received a massive dose of the snake’s venom. He became seriously ill and had to be air-lifted to a hospital, where he required a large number of doses of antivenom. A week later he remains in stable condition. The snake was reported to be a Western diamondback rattlesnake.
This story is perhaps not as uncommon as it may seem, because snakes—like many other reptiles—retain their reflexes even hours after death. The bite reflex is extremely strong in venomous snakes, because their instinct