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Re: blueheads

They're more than capable of biting, but its generally true that snakes
don't bite, unless you corner them.  Cottonmouths and Copperheads, the
United States' most widespread venomous snakes (Aside from the Coral
Snake, which you'll rarely see,  also -- I believe - the only two
venomous snakes without rattlers.), are also only mildly venomous.  A bite
from one of these guys probably won't do much beond make you sick for a
few days.  Unless you're alergic,  doubt you'd have to see a doctor
(Something you should do just the same).  On to the point, I've been
bitten by both, along with Timber Rattlers, and ... far too many
nonvenomous snakes.  Typically, the bites occur in one of three
situations.  One, the snake was cornered, and unabled to flee.  Two, I
surprised it (I.e., stepped on it, flipped a rock too fast, etc.).  Three,
during handling.  If given the chance, the snake will run away.  Biting
you is kind of useless.  It can't eat you if it does kill you.  Your big
enough that you may still hurt it, and its used up its spply of venom,
meaning one less possible meal until it can produce more. So, when it
comes to flight or fight, the snake will choose flight.  This generally
goess for most wildlife in general.  People who have been stung by
scorpions, bitten by large turtles, attacked by a bear, and so on usually
cornered it, surprised it, or made a mistake in its handling.  Exceptions
do occur, of course.
J. L. Wiegert

On Sun, 17 May 1998, D. Martin Moore wrote:

> > allow. As I am not fond of cottonmouths - especially when collecting
> > alone - I only wade out knee deep, so water level for finding them is
> > significant. 
> I can't remember whether it was fact or fallacy that cottonmouths 
> can't/don't bite when they're in the water?  Seems like they could if 
> they really wanted to!  In my experience they swim away 
> from you as fast as they can.
> Prost,
> Martin
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> Greater American Freshwater Fishes Resource Site (GAFFeRs):  http://www.localink4.com/~archimedes/
> "Fie on thee, fellow!  Whence come these fishes?" - Scheherazade
> "Any fish with good teeth is liable to use them." - Wm. T. Innes

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