Sensationalistic journalism and tales of snakebite: are rattlesnakes rapidly evolving more toxic venom?

  title={Sensationalistic journalism and tales of snakebite: are rattlesnakes rapidly evolving more toxic venom?},
  author={W. Hayes and S. Mackessy},
  journal={Wilderness & environmental medicine},
  volume={21 1},
  • W. Hayes, S. Mackessy
  • Published 2010
  • Medicine
  • Wilderness & environmental medicine
  • Recent reports in the lay press have suggested that bites by rattlesnakes in the last several years have been more severe than those in the past. The explanation, often citing physicians, is that rattlesnakes are evolving more toxic venom, perhaps in response to anthropogenic causes. We suggest that other explanations are more parsimonious, including factors dependent on the snake and factors associated with the bite victim's response to envenomation. Although bites could become more severe… CONTINUE READING
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