Rattlesnake conference in TucsonPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- They rattle, they bite and can even kill you.
For the next three days, experts will discuss the biology of the rattlesnake.
More than 250 experts from around the world have gathered at the Marriott University Park to discuss a serpentine subject: rattlesnakes.
"Basically its a collection researchers and biologists that all study rattlesnake biology and they're here to discuss the different studies and the things they have been working on," said event organizer Bob Ashlely.
Doctor Jonathan Campbell the chair of the biology department at the University of Texas at Arlington, and his team, have made an exciting series of discoveries, a new species of rattler.
"It does sound strange perhaps, it is very exciting to still discover new species including new species of rattlesnakes in this day in age," said Dr. Campbell.
The research has taken Campbell and his team to remote areas of Mexico.
"This species of rattlesnakes that tend to be mountain, that is they live up in the mountains and they have very restrictive distribution. One of thing that makes them so interesting is that they are adaptive to a variety of habits," said Campbell.
The thing that makes them dangerous is their bite and venom.
"If the snake actually catches you with a full bite, you will experience of puncturing of the skin. The venom is actually delivered through the venom duct through the fangs and down into the tissues of the human body," said Dan Keyler.
Dan Keyler from the Minneapolis Research Foundation is an expert on snake bites. He says you will feel pain from a bite in the first 30 minutes.
Antivenin is used to treat bites and scientists are looking for ways to improve it.
"One of the things that has happened in recent years is reactions to allergic complication with the administration of antivenin, that has been greatly approve and that used to be a major medical concern when people treated for snake bite," said Keyler.
Officials at the Arizona Poison Center say they average about 200 snakebite calls each year.