October 22, 2015
- as seen by -Kevin Torregrosa
In honor of National Reptile Awareness Day, I want to take this opportunity to bring attention to a group of often misunderstood reptiles. Those that are venomous can catch a bad rap, but few people realize the aid these animals provide to our everyday lives.
One of the biggest benefits to having snakes around is pest control. Venomous snakes eat a lot of rodents. With this diet, these reptiles also consume parasites, such as ticks, that spread disease to humans.
Even their venom is proving to be beneficial to humans. Current research has shown proteins in the venom of copperheads (above, Northern copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix) has the ability to slow the growth of cancer cells.