BDCA eJourno : TPL 3
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    SCIENCE & TECH
    United Kingdom
    Almost all snakes have the same, mindboggling superpower
    PUBLISHED 23rd May 2016 12:26

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    When a snake strikes, it moves so fast it could hit you four times within the space of one eyeblink. If a human moved that fast they would lose consciousness

    Lying camouflaged amid the deserts and grasslands of southern California, the western diamondback rattlesnake is one of the most patient predators in the world.

    These snakes live largely solitary lives, hidden away waiting to ambush their next meal. It can be a long wait. If necessary, they can go for two years without feeding, but when a chance arises they are among the deadliest and most efficient carnivores on the planet. And like all snakes, their first weapon is not size or strength, but sheer speed.

    According to research published in March 2016, an average snake strike lasts somewhere between 44 and 70 milliseconds. To put that in perspective, it takes humans around 200ms to blink an eye. In the same time, the most ruthless snake could theoretically have carried out four strikes.

    It is almost inconceivably fast, and it means that snakes are far better at striking their prey than we are at moving any part of our bodies.

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    Neil ShukerStaffordshire, United Kingdom
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  • PUBLISHED 23rd May 2016 12:26

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