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[-] Communist@lemmy.ml 31 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

It's not even an indicator, there's places where the opposite is true, this is like the myth of the vertical slit pupils meaning they're venomous, there's no actual correlation, this just coincidentally works in areas with few snake species, but you'd have to know that ahead of time, and since there's few species wherever this does work, you might as well just learn what the venomous snakes look like so this is practically completely useless.

This usually happens when somebody learns that in their local area this rule applies, and then assumes it applies everywhere.

[-] remotelove@lemmy.ca 9 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

This doesn't look local, and it seems reviewed: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/presentations/100138_3.htm

I legitimately want to understand how this information is propagating and why. Your explanation seems correct, but given the above link, there may be more to this problem. Honestly, I am just confused now.

(There is also a huge disclaimer at the bottom of that site, btw.)

[-] Communist@lemmy.ml 6 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

I can't see the paper on that page, just the image, is there more to it than just the image and the claim?

What snakes have they checked?

edit: I think this is really about identifying rattlesnakes, more than about identifying venomous snakes in general. There's two counterexamples on the "anal scale" page of wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anal_scale

the undivided end on an elapid venomous snake, and the divided on a colubrid

[-] remotelove@lemmy.ca 2 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

There isn't much more than the pictures, title and review date/information.

I mentioned in another comment that I am just going to write the reviewer of that page and see what the specifics are and get proper context.

It's not about who is right or wrong now. (You seem to know a lot more about snakes or you are a better rapid-researcher than I, at least.) If I can track this down and get a better review of stuff that is posted as a "government reference", more people could benefit from that.

In the past, I have had great success in reaching out to subject experts, so this should be kinda easy. I am also not shy, so that helps. I know the Denver Zoo (where I live) has a large reptile exhibit and they have close ties to people at the San Diego zoo who also does. It should be just a simple matter of contacting some of those folk with a short summary of this thread. If anything, they would have the "oomph" to get government resources updated. (I may have my zoos mixed up, but I'll get that sorted when I start this little research project.)

Side note: If you want to have an argument about chameleons, I am absolutely the person to have one with. ;)

[-] Communist@lemmy.ml 2 points 1 month ago

I'd be very interested to see what they say, please keep us posted!

[-] remotelove@lemmy.ca 1 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Sure thing. I'll tag you in this thread if I get responses.

(In a similar style thread a few months ago, I reached out to a Professor Lucas regarding some old stars that were discovered and dubbed "Old Smokers". We had a tiny debate about the relevance of Betelgeuse and he squashed the debate for us. Feel free to search my profile on it as it's kinda interesting. Same Lemmy community maybe? I can't remember.)

Edit: I just reached out to one of the reptile experts at the Denver Zoo, so let's see how this moves. This process usually takes a few days, so don't expect anything extraordinary, quickly.

[-] DrRatso@lemmy.ml 1 points 1 month ago

I legitimately want to understand how this information is propagating and why. Your explanation seems correct, but given the above link, there may be more to this problem. Honestly, I am just confused now.

Its the previous thing of it, potentially, being true somewhere and then also just it sounds like it could be true. TikTok is full of stuff like this, that sounds true enough and is presented from somewhat of an authority angle, with confidence. Too often I get someone to send me a tiktok of some medical fact like: “is this true?”. And 9/10 it is not.

[-] remotelove@lemmy.ca 1 points 1 month ago

Thankfully, I avoid short-form videos like the plague.

The link I shared was from a government site but with limited information attached. It also appeared to be reviewed on a regular basis.

Hell, I am just going to write the creators of that page and get some verification.

[-] DrRatso@lemmy.ml 1 points 1 month ago

I mostly do as well, although I have stumbled on some shorts worth while, so ill click those from time to time. Vsauce only posts shorts these days 😢

[-] Flatworm7591@lemmy.dbzer0.com 0 points 1 month ago

It holds true enough for North America, but not in other parts of the world, e.g. Africa. So yes, it should have a disclaimer.

This is obviously not true as many of the dangerous snakes in Southern Africa have paired subcaudal scales including the Black Mamba, Green Mamba, Cape Cobra, Vine Snake, Boomslang and Puff Adder to name a few.

Source: https://www.africansnakebiteinstitute.com/news/myths-and-hoaxes/harmless-vs-venomous/

this post was submitted on 14 Apr 2024
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