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Atractaspis (Serpentes, Atractaspididae) the burrowing asp; a multidisciplinary minireview

  • E. KOCHVA (a1)


Dedication 91

History 91

Taxonomy 91

Distribution 92

Behaviour 92

Venom apparatus 93

Venom 93

Evolution 97

Acknowledgements 98

References 98

The family Atractaspididae is a highly modified derivative of a lineage that apparently arose early in the history of ‘colubroid’ snakes, and its taxonomy and relationship with other ophidian groups is still uncertain. Snakes of the genus Atractaspis have a characteristic venom apparatus, including the structure and function of the striking unit and of the venom glands. The composition of their venom is also unique in containing several low-molecular weight components, the sarafotoxins, which affect the cardiovascular system and are similar to the mammalian endothelins.


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Bulletin of the Natural History Museum: Zoology Series
  • ISSN: 0968-0470
  • EISSN: 1475-2980
  • URL: /core/journals/bulletin-of-the-natural-history-museum-zoology-series
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